Exercise Tips For Seniors

HVA • 10 months ago

If you think you are too old to exercise, think again. Why? Because staying fit and healthy is not restricted to a certain age group. In fact, exercise is one of the most crucial things for seniors to add several happy, healthy, and independent years to their lives – and life to their years!  

Is there Anything Like ‘Too Old to Exercise?’ for Seniors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that older men and women can leverage the benefits of regular exercise, even if they have arthritis or other chronic medical conditions. 

Regular exercise helps you prevent or delay several health issues associated with aging, like heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline. It keeps your energy levels up and muscles strengthened, allowing you to perform daily activities without depending on others. Plus, it is known to help with mood disorders, mental problems, and memory. 

How Much Exercise Is Enough for Older Adults?

According to the CDC, adults over 60 should perform a moderate-intensity activity (like brisk walking) at least 150 minutes a week or a high-intensity activity (hiking, jogging, running) at least 75 minutes a week. They are also recommended to perform muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week and balance-improvement activities around three times a week.

Seniors with chronic health conditions may not have the capacity to meet the above recommendations. Hence, they should aim to be as physically active as their body allows. 

Exercise Tips for Seniors

Talk to Your Doctor

Consulting with a doctor before starting exercise is very important if you have certain medical conditions or physical limitations. For example, seniors with or at risk of heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes may need a modified exercise program to prevent complications or aggravation of their condition. Similarly, you may need to avoid certain types of exercises if you suffer from joint or mobility problems.

Doctors can assess your overall health and recommend safe, appropriate exercises for you. They can also tell you how to get started with an exercise routine and how to modify it over time as your health and fitness level improves.

Try a Variety of Physical Activities

Who says an exercise routine has to be difficult or boring? There are numerous ways to stay active, like walking the treadmill, jogging, walking in a park, aerobics, Zumba, and a lot more. Find out what activities you are actually interested in and incorporate a variety of them into your routine. Keep trying out new activities to keep your interest in fitness alive. 

Take a Slow and Steady Start

If you are not used to exercising regularly, take a slow and steady start. This is because your body becomes more susceptible to injuries and burnout with age. Trying to execute an intensive exercise session right from the start can injure your body or make you feel tired and unmotivated. 

A slow and steady approach will give your body the time to adapt to the increased physical activity, helping you build your way up to longer and more intensive workouts. 

You can start with low-impact activities like walking, jogging, and swimming. These activities are gentle on the joints and cardiovascular health. If you are concerned about falling or injuring yourself, start with chair exercises to build up your courage, stamina, and confidence.



Find Exercise Buddies

Exercising with a friend or family can be a fun and motivating way to stay on track with your fitness goals. You can plan regular workout sessions together and encourage each other to stay motivated.

Joining a fitness class or group presents a great opportunity to meet new people and stay motivated. Several community centers and gyms offer classes specifically for seniors, like Pilates, water aerobics, or yoga.

You can also look for different online communities focused on fitness and health for seniors. Participating in these communities can help you connect to others with similar interests and goals.

Keep Track of your Progress

There is no better motivator than success. Set specific fitness goals and track your progress towards them. For example, you can set an aim to walk 10,000 steps daily or perform 20 minutes of strength training thrice a week. 

Using a fitness-tracking device, you can track your steps, distance, heart rate, and other fitness indicators. You can also record your fitness journey in a fitness log or diary where you write down the type of exercise you do, the duration, and notes on how you felt during the workout.

When you achieve a goal or milestone, ensure you celebrate your success however you prefer. This will help you appreciate the effort you put in every day and inspire you to continue your journey with even more enthusiasm than before.

Listen To Your Body                        

This is one of the most vital exercise tips for seniors. 

Although all exercise routines can turn your muscles a little sore, they shouldn’t leave you in unbearable pain. Your body sends you signals when something is wrong; pay attention to it and adjust your exercise routine to avoid injury. 

If moving your body in a certain way doesn’t seem right, stop immediately and switch your routine. Take breaks when your body feels too exhausted to continue. You can also break your exercise routine into smaller sessions throughout the day to avoid overexertion. Some signs you should look for include chest pain, dizziness, swelling joints, persistent pain, and severe shortness of breath. 

Ending Words

Exercise is the key to healthy aging. Following the exercise tips for seniors discussed in this article, you can enhance your physical and mental health, stay independent, and enjoy a higher quality of life. 

The most crucial points to remember are to consult with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program and take a slow and steady approach to build your fitness level. With commitment and consistency, you can achieve your fitness goals and enjoy the many benefits of regular physical activity.

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