Exercise is an integral aspect of a healthy lifestyle; even into your 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, you can enjoy good physical and mental well-being with a proper exercise program. Seniors can benefit from workouts in a number of ways. Here is a look at a few:
Decreased risk of heart disease: In accompaniment with a healthy diet, exercise can lower the amount of LDL cholesterol that is responsible for clogging arteries and triggering heart disease. Workouts also strengthen the heart and enable its smooth functioning. This is given the fact that the heart muscles – like any other muscle – are strengthened when they are put under positive stress like exercise.
Lowered blood pressure: One of the most effective ways of lowering your blood pressure is through aerobic exercises like jogging, swimming and bicycling. They improve your breathing and keep heart rate healthy, both of which contribute to lowering your blood pressure.
Enhanced lung functioning: Regular exercise strengthens the lungs and increases oxygen capacity. This means you can accomplish physical tasks like shopping or even vacuuming more easily.
Keep osteoporosis at bay: By strengthening the bones and muscles, exercise (in combination with a nutritious diet) can prevent or delay the onset of osteoporosis.
Exercise also offers psychological benefits, making you feel good about yourself. Even something as simple as walking a few blocks around your neighborhood, in your garden or the courtyard of your senior living community, as is commonly seen at our Carlton Senior Living communities, can keep your body healthy and your mind fresh.
Fitness and Workout Tips for Seniors
Here are some workout tips that fitness experts recommend for seniors:
Age: 80+ years
Type of exercise: Brisk walking, tai chi, biking, swimming or some type of sport like ping pong is best. Seniors in this age group should stick to very light cardio sessions and avoid weights as much as possible
Age: 70 years – 79 years
Type of exercise: Lightweight bench-presses, push-ups or one-arm dumbbell workouts to strengthen upper body, sit-ups , leg raises or crunches to strengthen the mid section and weightless squats to strengthen the lower body.
Frequency: 2-3 times a week.
Duration: About 30 minutes.
Age: 60 years – 69 years
Type of exercise: Push-ups to strengthen your upper body, weighted/weightless crunches to strengthen your mid section and weightless/lightweight barbell squats to strengthen your lower body.
Frequency: Three times a week.
Duration: Between 30 minutes to one hour.
Age: 50 years – 59 years
Type of exercise: Squats, leg presses, deadlifts, dumbbell bench presses and chin ups are some excellent options. This age group has good energy levels and recovery times, so medium intensity exercises work well.
Frequency: 4-5 times a week.
Duration: 30 minutes to one hour.
The two best vision exercises for seniors
Eye palming/cupping exercises relax and invigorate eye muscles. Rub your palms until they feel warm, cup your hands and place them over your eyes such that no light enters your eyes (remember not to put pressure on your eyeballs). Keep your hands in this position for a minute or two. Repeat the same a few times.
Focus on an object placed nearby (a distance of less than 10 meters) and then slowly refocus on a distant object placed about 40-50 meters away. After observing the object for a few seconds, revert your focus to the nearby object. Repeat the process 5-6 times a day.