Although regular exercise is essential at any age, it is especially vital for older adults since it helps them maintain their independence as they age. Variety is key when trying to figure out which exercises for the elderly are best. Every adult, but especially those over the age of 65, can benefit from a routine that includes strength training, mobility drills, balance training, and aerobic activity. It is important for older adults to find workouts they enjoy so they will be more likely to stick with them for good senior health.
Why the Elderly Needs Exercises
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, older adults aged 65 and up should exercise regularly since it improves their ability to carry out daily living activities like cooking, cleaning, using the restroom, dressing, getting in and out of bed, and going on walks. Active adults have a lower risk of experiencing major injuries that might result from falls.
Women lose bone density faster than men do after menopause, therefore maintaining muscle strength and bone density is extremely important. Furthermore, cardiorespiratory exercise has a positive impact on health and can reduce the likelihood of developing certain chronic diseases.
Exercises for the Elderly to Stay Healthy
Below is a list of exercises that the elderly can engage in regularly:
- Walking: One of the most adaptable cardiovascular exercises, walking, can be done at a pace, distance, or duration that is comfortable for each individual. It can be tricky without a strong balance, but a cane or walker can help a lot.
- Cycling: Both outdoor and stationary cycling increase blood flow and stress on the heart and lungs due to the usage of bigger muscles like the quadriceps and hamstrings. The heart and lungs benefit from this exercise because, as with other forms of cardio, the body adjusts to this stress by strengthening its capacity to withstand the extra load.
- Dancing: No matter what kind of dancing you like (Zumba, line dancing, tango), the constant hip movement is great cardio. Dancing has numerous health benefits, including increasing your heart rate, enhancing your balance, and strengthening a variety of large muscle groups.
- Walks in Nature: Walking in nature, whether along a creek, at the beach, or up a mountain, can test one’s proprioception, or sense of where one’s own body is in space. Strength, agility, and balance can all be improved with regular walking on different surfaces, leading to safer movement in general.
- Single Leg Balance: Holding the front edge of the sink, step up onto a low stool and stand at the kitchen sink. Determine your center of gravity by standing tall, keeping your hands hovering over the sink, and, if you are able to do so without wobbling, lift one foot off the ground and place it back down.
- Lower Body Strength Training: In order to enhance balance and lessen the likelihood of falling, studies have shown that exercising the hips and legs is helpful. You can keep your hips, quads, and calves strong by doing the sit-to-stand exercise, squats, and heel lifts (standing on your toes and shifting up and down about ten times, twice daily).