Seniors who exercise regularly extend their lifespan. But, only one in four people between the ages of 65 and 74 are engaging in regular exercise.
Though some people opt to reduce physical activity as they get older, exercise only becomes more important as we age.
Physical activity helps you maintain your ability to live independently and reduces the risk of falling. It keeps your bones and muscles healthy and improves muscle strength. Regular exercise even reduces anxiety and depression.
The key to fitness over 50 is to focus on exercises that improve strength, balance, and keep you mobile. If you want to exercise, but you need some guidance on the best low-impact workouts, read on for some excellent options for seniors.
1. Swimming: Low-Impact Cardio
If you dread exercising because of the pain you experience, swimming might be the new exercise for you.
Swimming is one of the best exercises for old adults for numerous reasons. One of its most lucrative benefits is the cardio workout that you get while putting minimal stress on your body. Swimming is not a weight-bearing activity, so it’s ideal for those suffering from arthritis or osteoporosis.
There are many different ways you can incorporate swimming into your life. A popular choice is water aerobics or resistance classes. These classes are commonly offered at the YMCA or other gyms.
If you’re not into classes, basic swimming can be just as effective. As long as you’re diligent about using the right form, taking laps is good exercise. Doing some laps is also a great meditative practice for the mind.
2. Yoga: One of the Best Fitness Over 50 Activities
If you’ve never tried yoga before, now is the time. Yoga poses focus on balance and stability, which are extremely important for older adults.
Improving your balance prevents the likelihood of falls. In addition to preventing falls, the strength and stability gained in yoga can also help older adults recover more quickly from a fall. There are few things that are better for your balance than yoga.
Yoga also does a lot for the body beyond physical fitness. It reduces stress, improves sleep, and promotes feelings of well-being.
3. Walking: A Non-Strenuous Activity
You don’t need to engage in strenuous activities to exercise regularly. Walking at a steady pace can bring you all the benefits of exercise that you need. Long, steady walks or shorter, more strenuous walks up hills and stairs all provide excellent results.
Making walking a regular part of your routine is an excellent way to stay healthy, mentally, and physically. La Sonora offers nearly 6 acres of landscaped terraces and walking paths, surrounded by scenic mountain views.
If you’re less of a nature lover, and more of a shopper, La Sonora is also just four miles away from the Tuscon Premium Outlets. A walk around the outlets is a fun social activity to participate in with friends, all while getting some great exercise.
A walk outside can also work wonders for your mental health. The exposure to fresh air and nature is incredibly peaceful.
4. Weight-Training for Seniors
One of the best things about strength training is it requires minimal equipment and can be done just about anywhere. Maintaining and building your strength is crucial as you continue to age to prevent muscle loss.
According to the CDC, strength training boosts strength and energy, as well as plays a role in preventing diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Click here to access a strength training program for older adults created by the CDC and Tufts University.
5. Pilates: Core Stability
Another excellent fitness over 50 workout is Pilates. Pilates is one of the best ways to work on strengthening your core. Most Pilates workouts can be done on a mat and can be done individually or as part of a group exercise, making it a great social activity as well.
Research conducted by the Journal of Sports Medicine found that Pilates in a group of female volunteers age 65 and over improved dynamic balance, flexibility, reaction time, and muscle strength. It also decreased the “propensity-change” of falling.
6. Tai Chi: “Meditation in Motion”
Tai Chi is commonly referred to as “meditation in motion.” It’s an excellent mind-body exercise that has minimal impact on the bones and joints. The movements in Tai Chi are circular, leaving the muscles relaxed, and never fully extended and bending the joints.
Even though Tai Chi is a gentle exercise, don’t let it fool you into thinking it’s not doing much for the physical body. Tai Chi improves muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and aerobic conditioning.
This exercise is effective in preventing and treating a variety of health problems. Tai Chi can help manage symptoms of diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and fibromyalgia.
7. Take the Stairs
This one might seem silly, but choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator is an easy way to add some cardio into your daily routine. There are stair-climbing exercises at the gym but might as well embrace the stairs in your everyday life.
When you climb stairs, you exercise the same muscles used to balance when you’re getting up from a chair. Strengthening these muscles make you less at-risk for falling.
Start Exploring the Best Active Senior Living Communities
When you’re searching for an older adult community for yourself or your loved one, it’s essential to think about the opportunities available for fitness over 50. Having the ability to access walking paths and participate in fitness classes with friends are all good things to look for.
If you have any questions about the La Sonora communities in North Tuscon and Marana, Arizona, contact us today.