Fitness isn’t just about vanity – it’s a necessity for maintaining an active, independent lifestyle in one’s elder years. To maintain health and vitality, every individual should implement a plan of exercise. Specifically for elderly individuals, fitness can help prevent a variety of symptoms of aging, as it can help boost both physical and cognitive performance. A few hours dedicated to fitness a week can help senior citizens live healthier, longer lives. As muscles in the body strengthen, the body can move more easily. Since seniors often experience joint pain, problems with mobility and lack of general flexibility, exercise can be a welcome addition to their lifestyle. Working these muscles through a regular workout program can help prevent, abate, or even cure these issues.
Regular exercise can help individuals of all age groups providing seemingly endless benefits. Examples of these benefits include improvements in conditions such as osteoarthritis, blood pressure, diabetes, memory, balance, stress and osteoporosis. In order to engage in a beneficial fitness program, elderly individuals should strive to maintain a specific routine that includes three specific components:
Aerobic Exercise – Aerobic exercise includes activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, biking and optional cardiovascular exercises. Cardiovascular exercise helps make everyday tasks easier by building your endurance and stamina. To experience benefits, people should strive to engage in aerobic activities approximately three to five times a week.
Strength Training – To improve posture, bone density, muscle mass and stamina, strength training should be implemented into everyone’s exercise regime. Strength training can be achieved by lifting weights and/or working with resistance bands and machines. Strive for weights that allow you to feel challenged, but that also allow for a full range of motion, as this will help build muscle and strength safely and efficiently.
Balance and Flexibility – The focus on balance and flexibility will help individuals gain core strength with reduced pain and injury. Research shows that stretching helps boost flexibility as it simultaneously helps prevent specific exercise-related injuries. For guided help in this area of focus, one can also participate in a Yoga or Pilate’s class. Yoga focuses on teaching movements that incorporate fluid balance and core strength. Similar to Yoga, Pilates also focuses on balance, core strength, and flexibility.
Make fitness a life choice, no matter what age you are, it is never too late to start… So what are you waiting for?