Physical activity has always been applauded as one of the best ways to keep your health in check, regardless of age. It has proven to have multiple health benefits. As you age, your body relies on natural means to keep it healthy. Sometimes we associate aging with decreased activity, leading to a loss of strength and agility. Exercise is no fountain of youth but it does slow down the many effects of aging. If you go to any healthcare physician for advice, exercise will be at the top of their list.
Benefits of staying physically active:
- It increases lean body mass, strength and balance
- Helps maintain quality of life as you age
- It prevents and helps you keep diseases such as diabetes in check
- Improves mental health and mood factors
- Helps improve cognitive functions
- Keeps your mind active
As you grow older, it can be difficult to track down which activities are best suited for you. As a senior citizen, your activities should not be strenuous but more enjoyable. Something that you look forward to doing each day. Here are some activities that you can consider as you age:
The best way you get your body and mind moving. Yoga has long been preached as one of the greatest activities, not just for your body but also for your mind. Yoga allows you to push yourself beyond limits, without straining your muscles too much. Yoga requires great mind and body coordination, and as you age it is one of the best ways to keep you engaged. You can set time aside to do it yourself or you can look for classes that have been designed specifically for your age group. Going for classes also allows you to be a part of a community, meet new people and perform yoga poses safely. Yoga has been proven to improve balance and flexibility in your body while calming the mind. Many senior centers offer classes as part of their programs.
A great way to improve your health without pushing your mobility is swimming. This activity is best suited for those who do not enjoy walking or running. This works your entire body gently while increasing your heart rate and working your muscles to improve strength. You can choose to do a few laps or sign up for some water exercises such as group water aerobic classes. Water aerobics is great for those who are not particularly huge fans of swimming but do enjoy spending time in the water. These exercises are usually similar to any traditional workout class. The only kick is the resistance added by the water, which leads to a more impactful workout without causing too much pressure on the joints.
3. Staying active throughout the day
It is easy to fall into a pattern of lazing around and staying put in one place. When you are used to little or no activity, the idea of exercising can seem daunting, especially when you are much older. In such cases, increasing your daily activity and movement can go a long way. Start by intentionally walking around your house for 10 minutes daily. Step out for small errands. Push yourself to do minimal physical work - getting your food, raking leaves, tidying up your space. Nothing is too less of an activity.
4. Get a pet
Getting a pet can seem overwhelming at an older age but they make the best companions, while also pushing you to be more active. Going for a walk now seems a lot more enjoyable than going allows. This also allows you to have a regular schedule that you have to keep showing up for.
These are just some of the many ways in which seniors can stay active and improve their overall health. Book an appointment with a primary care physician near you for better insight and help on how to best indulge in safe physical activities