Exercise is important for keeping a healthy body and mind at all stages in life, and for seniors, there are even bigger advantages to being someone who maintains a healthy weight and keeps their muscles strong. If you are someone who has always been fairly fit, then it can be easy to tailor your exercise to suit your needs as you get older, but if you have never really focused on your fitness before, it can be quite daunting to try and get in shape after you reach your sixties, and you may be worried that you don’t know what kind of exercises you should be doing, or what is safe for someone of your current shape. It’s crucial to be well aware of the activity and the exercises you’re going to perform, because with activities like weight lifting danger of injuries may be right around the corner.
Luckily, there are lots of activities you can take up that can help you get yourself into the mindset of your fitness being an important part of your life now, and if you ensure you run the things you want to do by a doctor, you can work out safely regardless of your age or how fit you are at the start. You can also use a medical alert device to give you more peace of mind when you are exercising, especially if you work out alone or outdoors. AARP members can get one a discount.
So, what are some good activities to consider so you can start your sports journey?
Walking more is one of the easiest ways to add more activity into your daily life, and of course, it is also something that is free. You can walk whenever you like, whether it is on your own, with your dog, or with friends and family – use it as a good chance to catch up and have a chat! If you don’t walk much at the moment, making the effort to go for a stroll every day and to explore some places near to where you live, or to choose walking over driving to get around the neighborhood more often, can be a great way to introduce yourself to exercising and improve your health without having to take up a whole new hobby.
Yoga is a popular choice of exercise for seniors because it is great for your posture and your overall flexibility. It’s also highly beneficial for your internal organs and hormone production, plus not to mention it’s also good for your emotional well-being. These are all things that will benefit you and keep your body and spirit in good shape. Yoga is the kind of thing that starts off easy and gets harder and harder as you progress, so if you are looking for something interesting where you get to learn some new stuff and observe yourself making progress, it is a great choice. Do bear in mind though that yoga doesn’t have any cardio fitness included in it, nor does it include exercises with weights, so if you want to lose weight, build some muscle and increase your strength, while keeping your heart healthy, then you’ll need to complement your yoga with a more dynamic type of exercise like dancing, walking, running, swimming, or cycling to name a few. Believe it or not, you may also experience improvements in your gut health, because certain yoga exercises favor your digestion.
Strength training with free weights or resistance machines at the gym doesn’t necessarily mean trying to get the muscles of a bodybuilder (although if that idea appeals to you, there are bodybuilders who are seniors, so you can certainly take it up!). You can get a lot of benefits from strength training as you age by preserving as much muscle mass and strength as possible, including protecting your bone density and decreasing the level of frailty associated with aging. Talk to a personal trainer to learn the kind of exercises you should be doing to meet your own personal goals, and they will teach you the technique and how many reps you should be doing for each exercise. Remember what we mentioned earlier, there is always a chance for injuries, particularly if you’re not being careful.
These are some effective ways to get in shape when you are a senior who is new to exercising! So don’t hesitate to ask another senior friend who’s engaging in sports or seek the guidance of a professional trainer, it’s never too late.