Our doctors tell us to exercise often. Our families encourage us to stay fit, and our aching joints tell us to keep moving. But, what exercises for seniors really matter?
According to the National Institute of Health, a variety of exercises are key to maintaining joint and heart health while slowing the progress of age-related illnesses.
Four Key Exercises for Seniors
1. Daily endurance activities such as walking briskly, swimming or biking. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercises improves breathing and helps increase heart rates.
2. Strengthening exercises for muscle strength. Lifting weights or using resistance bands are excellent strengthening skills. Keeping leg and hip muscles strong will help prevent falls and improve mobility.
3. Flexibility moves help stretch the muscles and keep the body limber. These movements help with daily skills such as dressing and tying shoes
4. Balance exercises may help prevent falls by strengthening muscles. Several programs that focus on balance training are available at neighborhood locations such as your local Y. Or, simply focus on daily moves such as rising from a chair without using your hands or arms.
More Great Reasons to Exercise
1. By keeping and improving strength, seniors remain independent for much longer.
2. Seniors have more energy to do the things they enjoy.
3. Maintaining balance is key to better mobility and a safer lifestyle.
4. Daily exercise can help prevent or delay age-related disease such as heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis.
5. Exercise is proven to help reduce depression and improve moods.
As with any change in lifestyle, please consult your doctor before participating in a new exercise program.