Senior Exercise Tips to Keep a Healthy Body and Mind
Though the rewards of exercise are universal, considerable evidence links increased benefits to seniors and aging adults. Among these are:
- Helping achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Reducing the impacts of chronic disease and illnesses
- Increasing balance, flexibility and mobility, reducing the risk of falls
- Improving sleep habits
- Promoting brain functions that help prevent cognitive decline, dementia and memory loss
The value of exercise is clear. However, the step from knowing that you should exercise to starting to exercise can still be difficult – especially as winter months linger.
There are many reasons that seniors – and people of any age – become discouraged about starting the quest toward better fitness. Don’t give in. Here are several ways to help make exercise manageable, even if the weather outside isn’t very inviting:
- Head to the gym. You can set your own pace on a treadmill, stationary bike, or in the lap lane of the pool. Many fitness centers offer programs, such as SilverSneakers, specially tailored for seniors. The YMCA of Greater St. Louis offers various older adult and senior-specific programs.
- If the gym feels intimidating, the St. Louis Senior Center offers an exercise class every weekday morning. They also host dances regularly to help you stay physically and socially active.
- Try gentle exercises, such as low impact aerobics, water aerobics, yoga, pilates, Tai Chi.
- Walk. It can be done at your own pace and virtually anywhere. Mall walking is possible in any weather and may provide a nice change of scenery. For additional exercise, take a trip up the stairs.
It’s possible to be fit at any age. Reaping the rewards of exercise doesn’t require strenuous daily workouts, but rather incorporating more movement and activity into your life. Invite a friend to join you. Not only will you help their health, you’ll find that it makes the experience more enjoyable and easier to stick with when you have someone by your side.
The avenues to staying fit are only limited by your imagination. Leave a comment and share your favorite ways to keep active.
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