Best Exercises for Seniors
AAging can't be avoided but you can age gracefully. As people age, our bodies will have different needs. A healthy diet and regular exercise are needed to stay healthy at any age. Living an active lifestyle gets more important as you get older. So, you should learn the best exercises for seniors.
Exercising As A Senior
As you get older, your body also changes its needs. Seniors have more reasons to stay in shape mostly for health reasons. But before you start, you have to find the best exercises for seniors that you will enjoy.
- What Are the Benefits of Exercising?
The best exercises for seniors will help you to be more independent. It also improves your balance and gives you more energy. Exercising will help you to prevent age-related illnesses. It can also improve your brain function and reduce the risk of mental decline.
- Is There Anything to Consider When Exercising?
Seniors need to be more active than younger people. Make sure to consult your doctor before you start exercising. That way, you will know if a particular exercise regimen is good for you. Check the best exercises for seniors that you can do based on your fitness level.
- Do I Need Any Equipment?
Using exercise equipment depends on your health. You can use them and make sure to avoid overexerting yourself. But if you don't have the equipment, you can still exercise. There are different exercises for seniors without the need of using the equipment.
Best Exercises for Seniors
1. Brisk Walking
This is one of the best exercises for seniors since it's not stressful and also more accessible. Although it can be challenging for other seniors, it's the easiest exercise to do. It will strengthen your muscles. Walking can also help to avoid the risk of stroke, heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes.
2. Stationary Cycling
Stationary cycling is one of the best exercises for seniors. It's a safe, comfortable, and effective exercise for older adults. You can adjust the stationary bike to make it low impact. That will prevent you from suffering from muscle strain, joint pain, as well as injury that usually occurs during exercise.
Swimming is one of the best exercises for seniors and good for heart health. It will strengthen your cardiovascular health and avoid heart ailments. It's also gentle for your joints and helps to avoid osteoporosis. This will improve your flexibility, muscle tone, as well as your mental health.
4. Water Aerobics
Water aerobics is ideal for those who suffer from joint pain and arthritis. Exercising in water will help you to avoid putting too much stress on your joints because of buoyancy. It also eliminates the need to use weights. This will build your strength, balance, and flexibility.
5. Tai Chi
Practicing tai chi improves your balance, flexibility, and stability. It's one of the best exercises for seniors because it's low impact. This will also help people who are suffering from Parkinson's disease. It can also help to reduce the pain for those with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and back problems.
It's good for beginners since you don't need to use the equipment for this exercise. The movements from doing calisthenics will improve your flexibility and strength. Examples of calisthenics are pull-ups, push-ups, and anything that uses your body weight. It can even be done almost everywhere you want.
7. Regular Stretching
Stretching will avoid injuries especially with older adults. It helps to have better joint movement and good posture. Doing this releases tension and soreness of the muscles. Regular stretching will improve circulation, and muscle control. It can also help maintain a good balance and coordination while avoiding injury.
Yoga is one of the best exercises for seniors that can help avoid osteoporosis. This condition weakens the bones and becomes brittle. It can also reduce stress and help you to sleep better. Yoga poses are also good for your balance, strength, mobility, and reduce age-related aches and pain.
Pilates is a low-impact exercise and one of the best exercises for seniors. It's been around for a long time so it's proven to be good. This exercise focuses on breathing, alignment, and concentration. It also emphasizes your core strength, improves your balance, and also your flexibility.
10. Strength and Bodyweight Training
Doing strength training can improve the symptoms of diabetes, back pain, osteoporosis, and depression. It can also help you to maintain a healthy weight. Bodyweight training will prevent muscle loss for seniors. It's also accessible since you will only need your workout clothes and a fitness mat.
11. Resistance Band Workouts
It's one of the best exercises for seniors since you can do it even at home. You need to have resistance bands for this workout routine. It will strengthen your core that will improve your balance, posture, and mobility. The resistance bands exercise is ideal even for beginners.
Exercises Seniors Should Avoid
1. Squats with Dumbbells or Weights
Doing squats will be great for different muscles in your body. Although it's not the best exercise for seniors. It requires a good balance and strength. Older adults don't normally have both of these qualities anymore. Adding weights will also make it harder to balance and may cause injury.
2. Bench Press
This form of exercise is not advisable for seniors. It needs a good amount of strength which older individuals no longer have. Doing bench press can be dangerous for seniors. Avoiding this form of exercise is a must to avoid accidents and injuries.
3. Leg Press
Seniors shouldn't do this exercise. A leg press can put too much strain on your leg muscles. It can pose a great amount of risk for injury if not performed properly. Dipping the thighs too low will hurt the knees. If you bring your knees too close, it can cause injury.
4. Long-Distance Running
Living an active lifestyle is advised for older adults. But as people age, we lose our aerobic capacity. It can decline around 15% every decade from the age of 50. That's why long-distance running is not a good idea. You will be at risk of heart attack if you overexert yourself.
5. Abdominal Crunches
It may not look like a strenuous activity but abdominal crunches can be dangerous for seniors. This can potentially hurt your back since it puts a lot of pressure on that area. It also gets tough on your spine. That's why this exercise is no longer advisable for seniors.
6. Upright Row
This exercise involves a pair of dumbbells or a barbell. You have to pull it up on your midsection going to the chest area. Seniors should avoid this type of exercise since it's easy to get injured by this. The upright row requires focus as well as balance and strength.
Seniors should never even try doing a deadlift. It's a type of exercise that needs a lot of muscles which includes the upper and lower part of the body. This can be hazardous for older adults and not recommended for seniors. This exercise needs a good amount of balance to perform this routine.
8. High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training is not for everybody. It requires participants with healthy hearts and lungs. Seniors should avoid this because it's a strenuous type of activity. It may cause more harm to older people. The risk of having a heart attack might increase. This activity should be avoided by seniors.
9. Rock Climbing
It's a form of exercise that is not good for older people. Rock climbing may be fun for younger individuals. For seniors, it poses a big risk of falling and getting injured. It may also result in cardiovascular strain since it requires strength and physical exertion. Therefore, it's better not to try it.
10. Power Clean
This exercise involves lifting a heavy barbell from the floor to the hips. After that, it has to be lifted to the shoulders. It's not for seniors since it requires strength and balance. Using heavy weights is not advisable. You can easily get injured if your fitness level can't handle it.
1. Can too much walking be bad for you?
Walking too much walking is bad for you since you're overexerting yourself. That will cause more harm since it can damage your heart and arteries. That will cause injuries and it's addictive which will be bad for your health. Exercise moderately instead so it can keep your immune system strong.
2. Can you rebuild muscle after 60?
After the age of 60, muscle loss can happen. But it's reversible so even if you're more than 60, you can rebuild your muscle mass. The best way to rebuild your muscle mass is by doing resistance and weight training. It can also increase your bone mass to stay active.
3. At what age does muscle growth stop?
The muscles grow stronger and bigger from birth to 30 years old. After that, your muscles will stop growing and it can result in loss of muscle mass. It decreases per decade after you reach the age of 30. The loss will be between 3-8% of muscle mass and it will get higher as you age.