You know how they say you’re never too old to learn new things? The same holds true for exercise. You’re never too old to get benefits from regular physical activity. In fact, being active has many positives for older adults, including:
– Maintaining a healthy weight
– Improving stability and flexibility
– Reduce the impact of illness or chronic disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes
– Improves sleep
– Improves mood
With all those benefits, it seems only natural that older adults would want to exercise. But there are actually a few roadblocks in the way keeping the elderly from enjoying regular exercise. One of those is the fact that as we age, our bodies tend to slow down. We just don’t have as much energy as we did in our 40s, or even our 60s. In addition, the very health problems that could benefit from regular activity might actually be keeping you from exercising. The aches and pains of arthritis makes it hard to get moving, congestive heart failure might make it hard to breathe, and swollen feet and legs from diabetes are a challenge. Also, many older adults who have never been part of a regular exercise routine might not know where to start.
In order to encourage you or your loved one to get more active, we’ve come up with a few ideas to help get you started.
Look into classes designed specifically for seniors. The Healthwise program for Forsyth County offers free exercise classes throughout the county. The Greensboro Parks and Recreation department has classes designed for seniors, including a balance class and chair yoga. There are also many options available and private gyms throughout the Triad. Signing up for a class helps provide a little motivation to get you up and going.
Check out exercise videos on YouTube. Make good use of that tablet your grandchildren gave you for Christmas and do some workouts from the Internet. There are plenty of places to find chair exercises and chair yoga, such as Do You Yoga, which offers six poses to get you started, and the 15-Minute Senior Workout by HASfit. Exercising from a chair can help reduce risks of falling and help you feel more stable. Surprisingly, you still receive good health benefits, including improved strength, balance and flexibility.
Start an accountability partnership with a friend. Whether you know a group of people who would like to be more active, or you just have one friend you can count on to help you stay on task, reporting in to someone can help you maintain your exercise program. You’re less likely to skip your workout to watch the Price is Right if someone is there to make sure you keep going.
As with any new activity, it is important to check with your doctor before starting a new program. Make sure you are healthy enough to do the exercises you would like to do. Once you have clearance, find a class or set up a schedule, and get going. You’ll feel better and improve
your quality of life, all with just a little extra activity.