As a senior citizen, it helps to exercise to maintain the independence, strength, and flexibility needed in day-to-day living.
Exercise also reduces chronic pain, which can be disabling in senior citizens. With increasing age, tendons become stiffer and less pliable, making them more susceptible to injury if not careful. Keep these things in mind, and it will help prevent injury: Know your limits and respect them.
Who is a Senior?
A senior usually means someone over the age of 65. However, if one has been physically active throughout their life, continued exercising and working out past this age is highly recommended.
But, if you’ve experienced a severe illness, surgery, or significant injury in the past, you may need to reduce or avoid certain types of physical activity for some time.
Take it slow and accessible during the first few weeks of exercising, especially if presently inactive due to an injury. Do not do any exercises you aren’t comfortable doing, and do the type of exercise you enjoy.
Below are the eight best ways seniors can exercise during the winter:
- Nordic walking
Nordic walking is a type of cross-country skiing without skis. Poles are used to propelling themselves forward and providing balance, making them great for those with joint problems. Nordic walking can be done almost anywhere there’s snow; no special equipment is needed.
Walking is a low-impact exercise that is perfect for seniors, and it can be done almost anywhere and at any time. Walking is excellent for improving cardiovascular health, strength, and balance.
Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility, balance, and strength, and it can be done in a class or at home with a video.
- Stationary cycling
Stationary cycling is another excellent exercise for seniors as it is low-impact and can be done at any time. It is perfect for improving cardiovascular health and endurance without putting stress on the joints.
- Strength training
Strength training is an excellent way to improve muscle strength, tone, and bone density. It also helps seniors safely increase their daily activity levels by building up strength for walking, stair climbing, gardening.
- Tai chi
Tai chi is an excellent exercise that is gentle on the joints, improves balance and flexibility. It also helps build muscle strength without putting too much stress on the joints. Many senior centers offer tai chi classes.
- Balance exercises
Balance exercises are another great way to improve balance, coordination, and agility. Try standing on one foot for 30 seconds and repeat with the other.
Dancing is a form of exercise that can be done any time, and dance classes are even available at many senior centers. It improves cardiovascular health, endurance, coordination, and balance.
The key to exercising comfortably as you age is listening to your body’s limitations and respecting them. If you are a senior and have not been physically active, it is vital to start slow and easy with exercises that you are comfortable doing. Choose an activity that you enjoy doing to make it more likely to stick with it.
If you experience any pain or discomfort while exercising, stop immediately and consult specialists from Wee’s Physical Therapy.
By following these tips, seniors can safely and comfortably enjoy the many benefits of exercise during the winter.