Daily Exercise is Key for Older Adults
People are living longer and healthier lives and part of that is due to the increased importance placed on physical activity throughout life. Senior citizens should be careful not to shy away from physical activity and actually should participate in daily exercise as much or even more so than the average adult. Seniors have concerns that are specific to their age group, including ailments such as osteoporosis and arthritis. However, daily exercise can improve most physical ailments.
The Doctor is the Best Resource
The first consideration for anyone about to begin an exercise routine is to schedule a doctor’s appointment to discuss fitness goals and limitations. Because seniors often have other physical concerns, this step is especially important. The doctor may have special suggestions for your physical routine based on your health goals and medical history. The participant should schedule regular doctor’s appointments to keep track of personal progress. This will allow the doctor to see how the body is adjusting to the exercise and lets everyone involved decide if a new type of physical activity is necessary.
Workout Without Pain
When the body is suffering from arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, or other ailments, it’s sometimes difficult to determine what physical activities can be done without pain. “Without pain” is a key concept when it comes to fitness and working out. Senior fitness should center on activities each person can do without pain. Aquatic aerobics is a great example of a low impact fitness regimen that is often painless.
Moderate Exercise, Not Lifestyle
It’s not necessary to start in a class 3 days a week that costs a lot of money. In the beginning, the participant may want to make small changes to their daily habits. If physical health permits, senior citizens should do house and yard work to increase physical activity. Also, parking farther away from the grocery store or doctor’s office can increase walking distance for the day; these simple changes provide lasting fitness benefits without extensive lifestyle changes.
Finding the right exercises for each person can be difficult. While some people don’t want to be bothered with classes and other people when they work out, others want the support network that a class and community can provide. It’s often recommended that if someone has difficulty with motivation, to get a workout partner. Having someone to exercise with or simply go on regular walks with can increase the frequency that each person exercises.
Seniors should try to keep themselves to low impact exercises including water aerobics, yoga, Tai chi and walking. Higher impact workouts, such as Pilates and running, may cause injury to bones and joints. Remember, if it hurts, don’t do it. See your doctor often to check in on fitness goals and progress. The benefits of fitness last a lifetime. So no matter what age a person starts a fitness program, exercise can still greatly improve the quality of life of the participant.
Senior Organization for Fitness: https://www.helpguide.org/life/senior_fitness_sports.htm