Aging in place doesn’t necessarily mean staying in one place. When seniors stop moving, they can expect to lose strength, flexibility, and agility. Undoubtedly, a lack of physical agency isn’t how most seniors want to spend their golden years. Granted, remaining physically active does not stop the aging process. However, it slows down the effects of old age, especially those impacting life quality. Staying physically active has several benefits, including:
- Improved cardiovascular function and decreased fatigue
- Increased independence (you can carry out your daily activities without help)
- Reduced risk of suffering from some diseases
When your body doesn’t move as well as it once did, it can be hard to find motivation for regular exercise. Here are nine ways to stay active that prove you don’t have to be a spring chicken to keep a spring in your step.
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Invest in a mobility aid that keeps you on your feet
Undoubtedly, every senior wants to remain independent for as long as possible.
Consider investing in an assistive device to help you support yourself, age with dignity, and enhance your mobility. Like other devices, such as hearing aids, a mobility aid is a handy tool that ensures you live out your golden years joyfully and with much-needed freedom.
With a mobility aid, you can remain physically active as you move from place to place, performing several activities. Some of the assistive devices you can acquire include:
- Walking canes
- Activator poles and knee walkers.
- Upright walkers from reputable providers such as The Perfect Walker
These aids keep you on your feet and in the streets for longer.
Walk your grandkids to the park
If you’re a retiree with grandkids, they can be significant in helping you remain active. You can engage in several outdoor activities with them, ranging from visiting nearby botanical gardens to watching birds.
Plan active outings with your young ones and play catch with them at your local park. You increase your heart rate by pushing them on the swings, subsequently reaping the benefits of low impact (gentle) cardiovascular exercises.
Take a dance class
Sign up for a dance class in your locality. It will do wonders for your joints and muscles, plus you’ll have plenty of fun learning new ways to move your body.
Remember, dancing strengthens muscles. It helps work your lower body, upper body, and core. Ultimately, you become a more stable and balanced senior, not to mention one with a boost in flexibility.
If you’re intimidated by gravity-defying swing dances or speedy salsas, there are dance classes specifically designed for seniors. A low-impact dance class can be exactly what you need to feed your muscles and your social life.
Do household chores
While household chores such as cleaning are not so fun, they can be beneficial. As a senior, you should see using your elbow grease as an opportunity to exercise.
Activities such as lifting not-so-heavy objects from one point to another or scrubbing the floors are a form of weightlifting. These household checklist items help strengthen the core muscles.
Household chores requiring a bit more energy can be excellent aerobic exercises. Go ahead and play your favorite music as you perform standard chores to set a pace and enjoy yourself while you work.
Walk your dog
For seniors with dog pets, you can engage in daily walks in the company of your canine companion. If you don’t have one, you might consider adopting a low-maintenance dog to live out your golden years alongside.
Taking ten minutes of your evening to walk to the park is beneficial to both you and your potential pet.
Walking is a weight-bearing activity. Therefore, it’s ideal for seniors as a low-intensity exercise. It gets your heart pumping, boosting your cardiovascular health and improving the flexibility of your leg muscles.
Go for a swim
Some seniors have limited mobility, while some have joint problems that deter them from running or walking for long. Luckily, swimming is another exercise option that raises your heart rate even if you have trouble raising your legs.
Swimming improves heart health, reducing the risk of complications. What’s more, it’s a gentle full-body workout that improves the tone and strength of various body muscles.
You can approach swimming in two ways: the standard swimming way, which entails a few laps in the pool, or engaging in water exercises. The latter involves activities such as water aerobics and fits people looking for a low-impact resistance workout.
Water exercises are an excellent way to sneak in a powerful workout without stressing your joints or lungs.
Take the stairs
Are you a senior who always chooses the elevator? Well, you’re not alone. It’s what most older adults choose.
But from today on, please strive to do the opposite. If you’re able, climbing the stairs is a straightforward swap that can help keep your body in working order.
Build your muscles
Old age doesn’t have to mean sitting all day. Yes, age comes with a significant loss of strength. However, you can compensate for this loss by constantly maintaining your existing muscle. Exercise won’t stop the aging process, but it will slow it down.
Start with several basic exercises using lightweight objects around your home.
Even for seniors with physical limitations, strength training is possible. You can do it even while seated if you have limited mobility.
Arm exercises and ankle weights are beneficial to people who can’t stand for long periods, proving that weight training can be accessible to everyone.
If you’ve been inactive for long and have difficulties standing, walking, or carrying things around, start slowly and build your way up. You’ll be surprised by what your body is capable of.
Boost your brain
Staying physically active in your golden years also means taking care of your mind. You may be physically fit, but if your state of mind is on the rocks, your golden years might turn to bronze.
Several brain-boosting activities can help clear your mind, reduce stress, and manage anxiety. Engaging in these mental exercises can help stave off the risk of depression and other mental health issues.
Some of the brain-boosting activities you can engage in include:
- Trying various breathing techniques
- Listening to music or watching funny videos and films.
- Playing internet games or cards.
- Working in the garden
Your brain is a muscle, so it’s use it or lose it as you head into your post-retirement age.
Staying physically active is simple and reasonably within your reach. It’s neither mountain climbing nor a complex surgical procedure. It’s all about engaging in exercises such as those mentioned above. Doing so will boost your health, quality of life, and overall well-being. Pick up one of these nine tips and trade in the stationary life for a stationary bike.