We all know that exercise burns calories, good for the heart, and helps strengthen bones. But did you know that many chronic health conditions that trouble senior citizens could be prevented or improved with regular exercise? High blood pressure, metabolic syndrome (which leads to type-2 diabetes and obesity), heart disease, depression, and arthritis are some of the serious diseases that can be slowed, improved, or lessened in severity with regular physical activity. Regular exercise is also thought to lower the overall risk of dementia and many types of cancer.
Never Too Late
Senior citizens don’t have to exercise strenuously to achieve benefits and it’s never too late to start. The following activities can be modified to provide light to moderate activity for seniors of almost any level of mobility:
Walking. The original and still the best, walking is simply a fantastic exercise for seniors. It’s low impact, does not require special training or equipment, and can be done anywhere. Even older seniors who have been sedentary for a long time can walk for exercise by starting small and building up to longer periods of 30 minutes or more.
Aerobics. Low-impact aerobics is another excellent way to get senior citizens moving. Aerobics can take many forms including water aerobics, chair aerobics (for those with limited mobility), and aerobic dance. Just add lively music and you’ve got not just exercise, but a senior citizens’ social event, as well.
Swimming. A great full-body workout, swimming is an excellent way for seniors to improve both strength and stamina in one activity. Swimming is non-impact and therefore a good choice for senior citizens who suffer from joint pain.
Tai Chi. An ancient Chinese tradition first developed for self-defense, Tai chi is a graceful form of exercise that uses deep breathing and a series of gentle stretching movements that keep the body in motion. Tai chi is helpful for older adults because it is low impact, reduces stress, and improves strength, balance, and flexibility.
Strive 2 Thrive, the wellness program at Senior Care Centers, seeks to create a culture of wellness within each of our residential communities. The S2T mission recognizes the importance of physical activity in maintaining health of the whole individual. Contact us to learn more about Strive 2 Thrive or call 844-722-8800.