Most health and wellness studies tout the benefits of exercise, and with good reason. It means better overall health, disease prevention, and some great mental health benefits as well.
Older adults should be engaging in moderate exercise every week, as well as a little strength training, but only about thirty percent of seniors actually do. It’s unfortunate because exercise routines don’t have to be complicated. Instead, they can be an easy step that helps offer lots of benefits. What are the best fitness routines for seniors? Take a look.
#1 – Water Aerobics:
While you’ll need access to a pool for this one, it’s easily one of the best senior exercise routines available today. It’s perfect for those who experience joint pain because the water helps to put less overall stress on your joints.
More than that, though, you don’t have to worry about the weights you might need if you’re strength training because water offers its own resistance. To be effective, water aerobics should include jogging in the water, flutter kicks, leg lifts, standing push-ups, and arm curls.
#2 – Chair Yoga:
If you’re looking for a great way to improve your flexibility, this is it. Stretching is a key component of senior fitness routines, and this one, like water aerobics, is a low-impact way to get the movement you need to increase your flexibility.
Chair yoga is accessible to everyone, and there’s very little stress on your muscles during the process. You need almost no equipment to get started. You just need a chair and a list of yoga poses you’d like to try.
Start with the seated cat-cow pose. Just put your hands on your thighs and sit up as tall as you can. Round your back and pull your stomach into your spine. Put your chin down onto your chest, and be as round as you can. When you inhale, allow your stomach to move forward, and arch your back. Do this several different times. The seated twist is another pose you may want to consider during chair yoga. Put your left hand on the opposite knee and your right arm over the back of the chair.
Turn to look over your shoulder and hold that pose. When you inhale, sit up as straight as possible, and when you exhale, you should feel a slightly deeper twist. Repeat this pose on the other side, then repeat several times to feel the stretch.
#3 – Resistance Band Workout:
If you’ve never seen a resistance band, the time to discover them is now. They’re like a big rubber band, and they’re ideal for seniors who are trying to reduce the stress on their joints.
They’re incredibly easy to use and inexpensive if you’re trying to create a space to work out while you’re in your home. More than that, though, they make great strength training options.
To get started, consider a pull apart. It’s a good way to build the upper body strength you might need for an activity like carrying groceries. Just hold a band with both hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms straight, and raise the band to your chest. Pull it apart until it’s flat, then squeeze your shoulder blades throughout the movement. Return to where you started, and do it again about ten times.
You may also want to try a leg press. Loop the resistance band around your feet and lay down on the floor. Hold the resistance band with your hands and slowly bring your knees up to your chest. Push them back down again. Complete ten reps with this motion.
#4 – Pilates:
This low-impact senior exercise routine is a good way to improve your core strength. You’ll need a bit more equipment for this one though, as you’ll want some mats, pilates balls, and a few other accessories. This might be a better workout in the gym where you have access to much of this.
A good pilates routine though will help to improve your balance and core strength, as well as your flexibility. One exercise way to get started is the mermaid movement. You can perform the mermaid movement by sitting on a pilates ball. Extend your arm (either one) straight over your head. Keep the opposite shoulder down, away from your ear. Bring your extended arm as close to your ear as you can without pushing your shoulder up. Keep your left hip down and lengthen your spine as you stretch. Take that stretch over to the side. Slowly return to the original position and perform the entire movement again with the other arm.
More exercise can mean so many things for seniors like additional independence, better balance, and even more energy. Getting the exercise you need is easier than you may think with simple workouts like these!
Visit us at Cano Health for more helpful tips and information.