Exercise for Older Adults (10 Best Workout Ideas)
Healthy life depends on exercise and nutrition, and as our age changes, our requirements also change. Studies indicate that regular exercise for older adults is essential and that a sedentary lifestyle makes older adults less active.
We will discuss the benefits of exercise for older adults in this article and some specifically for older adults. A healthy exercise program for older adults should include 150 minutes of moderate endurance activity per week. To do this, you could go for walks, swim, cycle, and spend time in the gym every day.
Most health professionals recommend this amount of exercise for older Americans, particularly those in generally good shape. Despite this sounding like a lot, you can divide an hour of exercise into ten to fifteen-minute chunks two or more times each day.
Why Exercises Are Important for Older Adults?
Getting older tends to make us slower and more passive for a variety of reasons. You may be concerned about falling because of health problems, weight problems, or back pain. Alternatively, you might think that exercising is not for you. Active living becomes more critical as you age due to its positive impact on your health.
A recent study found that exercising increases longevity, even if you don’t start exercising until you get old. But being active not only helps you live longer. It will help you live more fully. So, exercise for older adults is essential for their health.
Several Exercises for Older Adults
In addition, to improve your mind and memory, regular exercise has numerous other health benefits. Exercise can boost energy, ensure independence, protect the heart, and manage your physical and mental health along with your weight. If you’re interested in being more active, improving your mood, and reaping all of the benefits of exercise, it is never too late to do so.
Here are several exercises for older adults. Let’s have a look! If you follow all the exercises with their safety tips, you can live a more active life.
Exercise that is enjoyable, accessible, and low stress is walking. Many older adults have difficulty walking, so the distance and the number of steps should differ from person to person.
A healthy lifestyle usually comprises 10,000 steps per day. Those who suffer from joint pain or difficulty walking may settle for a smaller number of steps. Walking 10,000 steps lowers your mortality risk by 45% over ten years, according to recent research.
You can reduce the risk of heart diseases, stroke, cancer, diabetes by walking. It strengthens the muscles and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
#2 Chair Yoga
The low-impact form of exercise that chair yoga offers is an equally important health benefit for older adults. It enhances muscle strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility. The chair yoga technique is more accessible than more traditional forms of yoga. It has a lower impact on muscles, joints, and bones.
Furthermore, chair yoga is also recommended for the mental well-being of older adults. A regular chair yoga practice helps participants sleep better, reduces depression, and increases the feeling of well-being.
Exercise for older adults that can perform in a chair include:
- Above the head stretched
- Stretched out seated cow
- Stretched out seated cat
- Sitting in a mountain pose
- Turned seated
A swimming pool can be a great form of cardio since your joints are not under excessive strain while the water supports your weight. Swimming is recommended for those who have arthritis and osteoporosis. Moreover, the water provides some resistance that can use in strength training.
Regardless of whether you have swimming experience or not, you can take advantage of the pool. You can train your legs and core muscles by paddling some laps on a swimming pool while using an aid. If you are comfortable swimming, you can join an aqua aerobic class, as you will be performing water exercises while standing in the pool.
Pilates is a joint exercise that developed years ago. These exercises are to improve your health and balance in older adults. Pilates exercises stress breathing, alignment, core strength, and concentration and commonly use mats, balls, and other inflated accessories to lift the body without stressing the joints.
Here are some pilates exercises for older adults include:
- Side Circle
- Walking in a Circle
- Featured Food
- Steps Up
- Movement of the Mermaids
#5 Dumbbell Strength
A study found that strength training relieves diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain, and depression while helping manage weight. Higher metabolism and improved glucose control are also effects of strength training. It is possible to strengthen a senior’s muscles with dumbbell exercises if they are performed safely.
Dumbbells enable seniors to isolate muscles to strengthen and improve performance while maintaining balance and flexibility.
Exercise for older adults that are ideal with dumbbells include:
- Overbent rows
- Extension of the triceps
- Curl your biceps
- Presses with overhead hoists
- Raise your front
An effective way to maintain balance is to perform squats every day. If you are starting, you will not need any equipment except your body weight. Standing in a semi-seated position is the aim of this exercise.
It’s essential to watch your form when doing squats because it can do incorrectly sometimes. Holding your arms out in front of you will help keep your back straight while squatting.
An alternate squat variation involves rising slowly from a chair while maintaining parallel arms and no support, then standing up slowly.
In most gyms, including those at community centers, stationary bicycles are readily available. If you like to exercise outdoors, you can also take advantage of the stationary bicycles at some HDB estate fitness corners. There is a shallow risk of injury with stationary cycling because it exerts no impact on your joints.
#8 Regular Stretching
It is essential for maintaining top-notch muscle health that you stretch every day. It is essential to stretch your muscles throughout your entire body: neck, back, chest, abdomen, sides, arms, thighs, calves. There are four major parts: your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. In addition, be sure to keep your joints flexible by exercising them regularly.
#9 Chair Stand
Strengthening your muscles and improving your balance may reduce the risk of falling and breaking bones. One of the best balance exercises for older adults is the chair stand. Sit in an armless chair for a few minutes.
Slowly stand up by extending your arms parallel to the ground, maintaining your back and shoulders straight. The toe stand can use to enhance balance further. Stand behind your chair, with the chair serving only as support, and slowly raise yourself on your tiptoes.
Repeat this movement 10 to 15 times, rest, and repeat another set 10 to 15 times. It would help if you recovered your heels slowly after holding the position; repeat two sets of 10 to 15 reps.
#10 Stretch Upper Body
Exercise for older adults programs will provide the most benefits if you are flexible. Then bring your arms following your back and hold hands to work your upper arm and chest muscles. If you pull your shoulders back, hold it for 30 seconds, then release your shoulders and repeat.
The same stretching position is used for another stretch, but clasp your hands in front. Make your hands face the ground and place them shoulder height. Press your palms outward away from the body, then release. The movement should be held for approximately 30 seconds, then released and repeated. The neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles are worked during this exercise.
Thus, we discussed the best exercise for older adults because active adults over 65 should exercise daily. It’s better to engage in any activity than none. At least two days a week should spend on exercise to improve strength and balance.
If you are already active, then do an additional 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. A few moments of movement every hour will help you avoid long periods of sitting or lying down.
Performing exercises that improve your strength, balance, and flexibility will empower you if you’ve fallen or fear falling again. It is best to contact your physician about exercise if you have any concerns.
Read Also: What is Muscle Memory?