Exercise for seniors is essential for quality of life! I’m sure we can all agree on that point! Most baby boomers and aging seniors can relate to this now famous quote, which is usually attributed to baseball great, Mickey Mantle…“If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” If you’re like me, you always think there will be plenty of time to make those healthy changes that you’ve always wanted to make!
I have observed so many people many of who are family members, age poorly. In almost every case, it was due in large part to leading sedentary lives. Being active as we age is the single most important gift that we can give ourselves! With so much that we can’t control, let’s tackle the one thing we CAN control! The anti-aging diet has become hugely popular, but as always, it boils down to a few basic steps - eat healthy, regulate calorie consumption and avoiding processed foods to get the best results as quick as possible.
If you can be disciplined enough to follow these 3 essential rules most of the time, with only occasional indulgences, you will have your diet under control. Exercise for seniors is easily as important, if not more so, than diet. It is never too late to begin leading an active life. Just remember that all things are good in moderation so take it easy.
Use common sense when you begin to start new activities. Start small and build as you become stronger. While pushing yourself is important, pushing yourself too much will set you back. Walking for weight loss is one of easiest ways to start being active, mainly because it can be done anywhere at any time.
Other good alternatives to try..
A good pair of walking shoes is necessary once you develop stamina, but other than that, very little is needed. If the weather is a factor, you can walk indoors on a treadmill, around your home, or in the mall. Walking DVDs are abundant and can be used in your living room.
Swimming is another easy activity for a beginner that is very effective - you can find more about this at the aquatic exercise for weight loss page. I know the bathing suit thing can be intimidating, but if you can get past that, (and let’s face it, who can see you once you’re in the water), swimming may be the best exercise for seniors! It’s easy on the joints and all you have to do is walk or jog in the water, or paddle yourself around to reap the benefits. Many cities have recreational centers with heated pools, and the cost is usually minimal.
“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old; four you grow old when you stop laughing.”
Using an exercise bike for weight loss can also be an excellent exercise that is popular for seniors. A stationary or recumbent bike can be used indoors if one prefers to stay out of the elements and biking around the neighborhood can be incredibly relaxing and social as well.
Yoga is another great exercise for seniors. There are many classes for beginners and even special “senior yoga” classes. Classes can usually be found at recreational centers, fitness centers, hospitals, and private studios. In addition, there are dozens of great DVDs available if you prefer to exercise at home. Not only can yoga be an excellent way to build muscle (using your own body weight as resistance) but it encourages flexibility and balance as well.
If you prefer, you can also exercise indoors without special equipment. There are even workout routines designed for sitting in a chair. When there’s a will, there’s a way! It’s essential for seniors to focus on weight-bearing exercises to keep their bones strong. There are target exercises that you can do at home to strengthen various parts of your body.
So, there you have it…some good ideas for getting started. By now you’ve figured out that it doesn’t really matter WHAT you do, as long as you do SOMETHING! Like the saying goes, “Move it or lose it!”