Exercise is not just for people in their younger years, but may actually be even more important for our elderly. Exercises for the elderly can take many different forms depending on age, physical condition, and desire. We are going to discuss exercises for a reasonably healthy person.
Before starting any exercise program it is advisable you visit with your Doctor and discuss your plans. They may wish to make minor adjustments to your plans to make sure you avoid injuries, but expect them to be your biggest cheerleader. Doctors love to see their patients, including elder patients, exercise. They know exercise is one of best ways to increase health, improve mobility, and enjoy life.
Being a bit older mean you need to start by throwing away one very common exercise phrase. The idea of “No Pain, No Gain” is a great thought for young people who are trying to pack on muscle, but is a terrible mantra for anyone who is even a little older. If you feel excess pain, it probably means you did too much, or may have sustained a minor injury.
Enough warnings, let us get started with the fun. One of the most important kinds of exercises for the elderly is aerobic or cardio fitness exercises. The most popular is walking. Walking for 30 to 45 minutes per day can make major improvements in your life. You will get more oxygen, more blood circulation, improve balance, and it aids in maintaining bone strength. The best part of walking is it can be done indoors on a treadmill in bad weather, or enjoyed outside in the fresh air on nice days.
Another great exercise program for the elderly is water aerobics. This takes all the stress of gravity off of your body, and allows you to play in the water. You can get a great workout with zero impact, and increase circulation, improve cardio fitness, and have fun. You can find these classes at many fitness centers, and community recreation facilities.
Weight lifting is not just for young people. Doctors and fitness trainers both recommend the elderly lift light weights a couple times per week. It helps in strengthening muscles, improving balance, maintaining bone density, and again, can be great fun. Make sure you start with light weights and increase the weights very gradually. Never lift a weight which feels awkward to handle. You will be shocked at the overall improvements strength training can make to your lifestyle. Improved balance and strength can allow you to return to activities you loved in the past, and thought were gone forever.
The biggest factor in choosing exercises for the elderly is not creating limits. If you want to try a kick boxing aerobics class and your Doctor approves, then try it. You may need to move slower, take more time, and improve your condition slowly, but you will have great fun. Get out there and regain your strength and love of life with exercise.