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Active Seniors

Active Seniors

As life, span increases and people are living healthier than before; many seniors of today are likely more active, eat fresh food from gardens that they have grown, text their children / grandchildren and possibly are even active on their Facebook wall.  Seniors, today are more likely to play board games and dine out, unlike their earlier counterparts.

Exercise is important for health at all ages, especially the age group of 65+.  However, always remember to speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.  After the doctor approves, start a low impact routine – this helps by stretching and strengthening muscles and reducing stress, preventing injury and lowering your blood pressure.

There are four categories to low impact exercises: endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance.  Try to mix up your exercise routine by including walking, swimming, yoga, light weight training and cycling. Here are some tips to help you with these exercise routines.

Walking is one of the best low-impact endurance exercises because it’s easy on the joints and involves little planning.  One important thing for a great walking routine is proper shoes and the second is good stretching after your walk.  When choosing the proper shoes, look for good cushioning and heel support.  While walking focus on posture, keeping your back straight, and shoulders rolled back.  Start with a short distance and add a few minutes until you get to 30-60 minutes.  After your walk, stretch your calves, hamstrings, and do ankle rolls.

Swimming improves flexibility and endurance, and is excellent for seniors. Water relieves stress on bones and joints, and gives the whole body a work out.  Swimming laps in the pool, allows the body to stretch which in turn strengthens the muscles in the back, arms, legs, and shoulders.   Always remember to stretch prior to going in the pool and cooling down after the water exercises.

Yoga helps to reduce many health issues, which is making it a more popular exercise for older adults.  It’s great because you can do it anywhere and it doesn’t require any equipment.  There are six basic poses to start with:

Tree Pose – helps to improve balance

Warrior – helps stretch hips, groin, and inner thighs

Extended Puppy – is a combination of the downward dog and child’s pose

Low Lunge – is a lunge while the back leg stays on the ground

Bridge – this strengthens your lower back

Legs up the Wall – helps recirculate the blood to the heart

Weight Training can sometimes be strenuous for some older adults, but certain weight lifting can be an excellent way to build muscle and improve overall health by way of low impact exercises.  The most important thing to remember, is to start with lighter weights or even start with just the exercise and no weights.  Try to do 30 minutes of strength training for each muscle group two times per week and to take one day off in between working the same muscle groups.  It’s always recommended to do a couple sessions with a personal trainer for tips on keeping good form.  The rule with weight training is “no pain is good pain”.  If you feel pain during an exercise, back off, or try a lighter weight.  If pain continues, stop that exercise and consult a doctor.

Cycling is easy on the joints because the body absorbs minimal shock while peddling.  One can ride a stationary bike or purchase a road bike.  If the upright bikes is too uncomfortable, try a recumbent bike.  Cycling can help with high blood pressure and improve mood.Staying ActiveRetirement & Assisted Living Residences

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