Fitness is important.
All of us agree that physical fitness is important. Not only does physical fitness help us feel better physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. That means that when we’re active, were healthier, happier, and sharper, too!
But as we get older, many of us find it more difficult to stay active. Our lifestyles may not require as much walking, bending, stretching, etc., so we may just end up sitting. That can be a dangerous trend. And as aches and pains increase, making ourselves get up and move can become more difficult as well.
Seniors and fitness.
So we need to find ways to stay active and get necessary exercise. And those ways need to work for us. We need to be able to be consistent. We need to be able to perform the activities safely. And it wouldn’t hurt for us to have some fun, either!
Now that spring is here and summer is just around the corner, many of us want to get outside. And we may want to do things which require better fitness. So we’ve compiled a list of a few of our favorite ways seniors can stay fit during the spring and summer months.
1. Stretching exercises.
One of the most beneficial exercises for whole-body fitness is stretching. You may think stretching is just to prepare for exercise, but that’s not true at all. It’s true that you should stretch before doing anything more strenuous. However, a full-body stretching regimen increases blood flow, improves muscle tone and helps keep joints lubricated as well.
2. Seated exercises.
Who says you have to get up to get fit? Truth is, you don’t! You can strengthen almost every important muscle group in your body from a seated position. Look for a DVD or YouTube video of seated exercises for seniors. There are lots of great choices out there. The important thing is to get your body moving!
3. Join a senior yoga class
Many yoga instructors offer classes for seniors. Yoga is great for flexibility and is a very low impact exercise. And exercising with others helps you keep it up!
4. Walk, walk, walk!
Ok, this one is obvious, but it’s harder to do than you might think. So here are a few ideas to get you walking.
In-place walking videos
These provide a way to walk even on days you can’t get outside. Or if you just don’t have a lot of space, you can do these out on your patio. Look for DVDs or on YouTube for something that works for you.
Visit a farmer’s market
What a great way to spend time outside! And it requires not only walking but bending and stretching as well. Then, as a bonus, you come home with fresh, healthy produce.
If you don’t have a dog or can’t have one where you live, have a family member bring one over. This not only motivates you to get outside and walk but makes you schedule a time for it as well. And the companionship is a great mood-booster, too.
Join a walking club or group
You may prefer walking alone. But for those who thrive on being social, a walking club or group is just the ticket. And studies show that it’s much easier to keep up a new habit with the support of a group.
Not only can this be great exercise, but it also gives you the satisfaction of working for a good cause. Find out about charity walks in your area. They are plentiful in most areas and almost all of them allow you to just go at your own pace.
***Consult your doctor, first!
Remember, you need to consult your doctor or health professional before beginning any exercise program. They can let you know if an activity is not appropriate for you, or if you need to modify how you do it.
Hospice and Palliative Care
At Seasons Hospice in Springfield, Missouri, we have years of experience helping seniors maintain the highest possible quality of life in many circumstances. We are here to support you in all stages of a life-limiting or terminal disease. If you or a loved one are in need of hospice or palliative care, please contact us at 417-890-5533 today.