Exercise Tips for our Senior Years
Regular exercise is important for every stage of our lives. The benefits will help your body to remain functional and healthy throughout your senior years. Not getting enough exercise can leave your body stiff and non-functional in your later years. This may ultimately result in you not being able to do things you like to do.
It is never too late to start exercising, you will be surprised at what your body is capable of. It is important not to fear exercise but understand what it can do for you. Whether it be for sporting competition or for the day to day things you like to do, such as walking or gardening. Exercise can help you get stronger, faster, and capable of doing more.
As we age, we can lose some of the motivation we once had to exercise. What people do not know is that exercising in your senior years is probably one of the most important times to exercise. I have seen many of my senior patients get stronger, fitter, and more functional with the right guidance and support.
Many of these clients expressed their concerns to me about exercising and doing more harm than good. I reassured them that it is completely safe and recommended to exercise in your senior years! They were shocked at what they were capable of doing, and you could be too!
If you are taking a break from exercising or have not exercised in years, it can appear more daunting and more of an obstacle to get back to it. The key tip would be to start small with something you like and build from there.
A great way to get excited and motivated about exercising is to do it with a group. The social element of exercising in a group will often drive you to do more. Group classes of Yoga or Pilates are perfect for improving strength and flexibility in your later years. Senior aerobics and kettlebells will be good to improve your balance and endurance. Don’t be afraid to experiment with group classes and find the one that suits you best.
If group classes are not really your thing, try some other form of exercise that you enjoy. Something that does not require any equipment, a quick and easy way to get the heart rate up. I have a patient that comes to me that loves to dance around her house for her main source of exercise. It can be something so simple that can brighten up your day. Cycling, walking, or jogging are some of my personal favorite ways to exercise, mainly because you can use them as a mode of transport and a good form of exercise. It is a double whammy! It will save you money and make you healthier at the same time.
If there is an old injury that is stopping you from exercising or doing the things you like to do, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your physical therapist or personal trainer will be able to guide you on the best and safest way to exercise without putting you at risk.
Remember that exercise is a natural pain killer, finding the best way to exercise and or getting you moving can relieve your pain and prevent the problem from coming back. Start today, and you will soon see the benefits!