The 3 Best Exercises For Seniors

 In Blog

a class participating in yoga

Why is a senior exercise program so important?

Staying active is key to maintaining your independence as you age. And while our mobile and in-home safety services can provide help wherever – and whenever – you need it, there’s no substitute for a strong body.

Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of falls, improve your balance, maintain your muscle mass and boost heart health. Most experts recommend seniors 65 and older take part in at least 2.5 hours of “moderate-to-vigourous” aerobic activity per week. A balanced senior exercise program should also work on several major muscle groups.

Let’s look at a couple of basic warm-up exercises for seniors which help avoid injury and improve results too.

  • Walking at an easy pace for five to 10 minutes around your house, down a long corridor or outdoors on a flat, even surface can help get your joints and muscles working.
  • Follow up the walking with a few minutes of slow, gentle stretching of your arms, legs and calf muscles.

Three of the best exercises for seniors

Swimming
One of the biggest reasons why regular exercise can be difficult is that all those aches and pains add up. While going for a jog can get your heart rate up and help you burn calories, it’s hard on your body. Swimming nicely accommodates all ages and abilities and is very easy on your joints. Why? Your body is supported by water, meaning only a fraction of your weight is being supported by your limbs.

What’s more, a long-term study out of Indiana University found that regular swimming can greatly slow down your body’s aging process, as it increases lung capacity, lowers your risk of heart disease and works several different muscle groups at once.

Another big plus: swimming is one of the best back strengthening exercises for seniors.

Dancing
Researchers say that dancing is not only one of the best balance exercises for seniors, it’s also great for your brain. A six-month study out of Colorado State University found that dancing helped slow the degeneration of cerebral white matter – associated with a loss of cognitive function. Dancing was also found in a different study to help boost mental health by providing a social outlet.

On the physical side, dancing can help improve muscle strength, coordination, balance and cardiovascular health.

Yoga
Want a workout that blends calm meditation with balance and back strengthening exercises? Yoga may fit the bill. Most yoga exercises and poses focus on balance and stability – both key ingredients in preventing trips and falls.

Yoga is a slow, gentle and low-impact form of exercise that’s proven to loosen up your muscles and increase flexibility. Additionally, it can be used as a warm-up exercise for seniors and is perfect for achy, stiff joints.  Yoga has also been shown in recent studies to improve respiratory function and reduce high blood pressure.

Staying fit on your own
Need a few pointers? There’s no shortage of senior exercise videos on YouTube that can help you get your workout program started or provide a range of quick, easy, low-impact 15 minute workouts for seniors.

Also learn how our full suite of technologies and services can help keep you safe whether you’re balancing body and soul at yoga or burning up the dancefloor.