Best Exercise Routines for Seniors

One time I went out to have my morning exercise routine. I was a bit surprised when one of the seniors in the neighborhood was running like Usain Bolt. He was faster and fitter than his age. We talked for a few minutes, and I was able to ask him about his workout. He said there is nothing special with his exercise routine. He just performed simple exercises, and he’s a fitness inspiration for me.

Below are some exercises he encourages every senior to do as well:

Swimming 

Generally, seniors cannot handle strenuous exercise because they are frail. But that does not mean seniors in the family should only sit on the couch all day. They can do more, and swimming is an activity recommended by experts because it presents a lower risk of injury. More than that, it improves heart health, increases flexibility, improves muscle strength, boosts mental health, and minimizes the risks of osteoporosis. But swimming can be boring after a while. The trick here is to try various swimming exercises. This includes performing arm circles, water walking, water jogging, wall chair, resistance kicking, standing water push-ups, and leg swings.

Yoga 

Who says yoga is only meant for the young? Experts say it is for people of all ages. Yoga is a safe and effective way of enhancing a senior’s physical health and overall wellness. It cultivates a mind and body connection with a combination of strengthening and stretching postures through deep relaxation. Plus, if you read this handy article here, you’ll also find that yoga is a great calisthenic exercise too. Calisthenics focuses on strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination, all of which can be practiced when doing yoga.

When done right, it leads to better balance, improved flexibility, enhanced breathing, reduced anxiety, strong bones, and better sleep. The best types of yoga for seniors are Hatha, Iyengar, restorative, yin, vinyasa, ashtanga, Bikram, and kundalini.

Hatha focuses on physical postures. Iyengar emphasizes proper form. Restorative yoga releases tension. Yin focuses on holding poses for an extended period. Vinyasa involves matching breathing with continuous movements. Ashtanga comprises a set of poses that is physically changing and fast-paced. Bikram strengthens muscles while flushing toxins from the body. On the other hand, kundalini combines chanting, breathing exercises, and meditation.

Pilates 

As we age, our flexibility begins to decline. Before immobility becomes a big problem, incorporate Pilates into your workout routine. However, Pilates does require a lot of focus, deliberate movement, and attention. So, take your time. There is nothing to rush. When performed properly, Pilates can improve your flexibility, balance, focus, and strength. The best Pilates exercises include kneeling rear leg raises, single straight leg stretches, bent-arm planks, swimming, and the bird dog.

Bodyweight Training 

Studies have shown that one out of three older adults experiences serious muscle loss. Harvard research suggests that strength or bodyweight training is extremely efficient to keep muscles in perfect condition. But you do not need to bench press a ton of weight to stay fit. It is safer to start small. While it is tempting to take advantage of advanced bodyweight training, consider chair squats, wall push-ups, stair climbing, single leg stands, and other simple bodyweight exercises.

Resistance Band Exercise 

Before, you needed to go to the gym to enjoy your favourite resistance band workouts. Things are different today because resistance bands are highly accessible. With your phone and a strong internet connection, you can buy stylish and durable resistance bands with a click of a button. More than the savings, using a resistance band can challenge your muscles, strengthen your back, and even improve your posture. Some of the best resistance band exercises are chest pulls, bent-over rows, bicep curls, lateral raises, squats, chest presses, leg presses, triceps presses, and calf presses.

Walking 

Walking is no doubt the best form of physical exercise for every senior out there. It is easy on the joints, convenient to perform, and has a low risk of injury. But some overlook walking. Do not underestimate it because it can:

  • Improve cardiovascular health. Studies found that walking every day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 15% or 20%.
  • Fight weight problems. It helps people burn calories, enabling them to say in top shape all year long.
  • Boost the immune system. A study revealed that people who walked 20 minutes each day took fewer sick days than those who did not.
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