As people get older, it is no surprise that some physical activities become a bit more challenging to perform than before. Losing muscle mass and flexibility within the tendons naturally occurs with aging. While there is a way to presently reverse the bodily effects of aging, there are preventive measures you can take to retain your body’s strength as you age.
You can still work out no matter the age or level of fitness, as there is a wide selection of exercises that will help you burn calories and build your strength. Read on to learn about a few of the most accessible ones for seniors.
- Zumba for Seniors
Dance has been around forever and won’t be going out of style any time soon. There is just something magical about getting lost in a good song. Dancing allows you to escape from the arduous feats of everyday life and experience a few moments of bliss.
Music increases the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that affects a person’s cognitive, behavioral, and emotional processes. In addition, dancing also causes a release of feel-good endorphins into the bloodstream.
Zumba classes can be taken online or offered at one of your local gyms. Zumba is an exercise fitness program that utilizes dance routines put together by amazing choreographers and/or Zumba instructors. These dance styles or genres include salsa, mambo, reggaeton, soca, samba, flamenco, merengue, tango, cumbia, hip-hop, and more. Zumba does not require you to have a specific level of fitness and is suitable for everyone who loves to dance. You’ll be swept into the rhythmic beats and fun choreography that you just may forget that you’re exercising.
- HASfit for Seniors
HASfit is a free service that offers full-length workout videos. These workout routines are instructed by fitness coach Joshua Kozak and feature a variety of workouts tailored specifically for seniors.
Many of these videos offer you a demonstration of the exercise as well as a demonstration of the seated alternative. However, there are also full-length videos that prioritize low-impact exercises in which exercises include marching in place, shoulder raising, and bicep curls with dumbbells.
- Water Aerobics
Losing muscle mass is a natural course of aging as well as the stiffening of joints. This happens because the tendons lose collagen, elastin, underlying fabric, and more. Because there is a gradual decrease in blood flow to the tendons, less oxygen and nutrients get distributed to those places which inevitably leads to a gradual loss of strength. Thus, you may experience a bit of a challenge when it comes to performing physical activities that you were able to once do with ease.
Fortunately, this is still not a reason for your physical fitness to dwindle as there are many low-impact workouts you can do without risking injury or damage to the joints. One of the best low-impact exercises includes water aerobics which is vigorous exercises done in a swimming pool. Water aerobics can be done individually or you can water aerobics classes offered at places like your local YMCA. The following are a few fun water aerobics exercises:
Flutter kicks will be done similar to how you’d normally do flutter kicks except in water. Perform a front float, holding your head above the water whilst also holding onto the edge of the pool. Then, you’ll want to flutter kick your legs, alternating between kicking each leg and maintaining a steady tempo.
To engage the muscles in your legs, you’ll want to incorporate leg lifts into your water aerobics routine. While standing in the swimming pool, lift one leg out to the side of you and back down. Do the same with your other side leg until your legs begin to feel tired. The benefits of this specific exercise include toned legs, balance, core strength, more range of motion in the hips, etc.
Regular jogging on hard pavement can inflict damage on anyone’s joint. This typically creates tiny fractures in the shin that could potentially cause serious injury if done with improper form. Aqua jogging or walking helps boost your heart rate and gets the blood flowing all throughout your body. Aqua jogging can be done simply by jogging or walking from one side of the pool to the other.
- Seated Exercises
Seated exercises are another excellent low-impact means of getting or staying in shape. There are even full workout videos that can be done seated to ensure you don’t put too much pressure or tension on your joints. Some of these seated exercises include knee extensions, marching in place, overhead bend and reach, shoulder blade squeeze, seated jumping jack, neck rotation, and chair push-ups.
Increased stamina and boosted circulation are a few benefits to doing seated exercises. An additional benefit to seated exercises is improved posture. This kind of exercise can be modified for more of a challenge by adding an exercise ball, dumbbells, or even resistance bands.
- Yoga for Seniors
Aside from seated exercises, yoga also helps you to improve your posture. Yoga helps improve your mental health as well as your physical health. The different variations of yoga include Tai Chi yoga, Aerial yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Kundalini yoga, and Yin yoga. Yoga involves a stationary movement that engages the strength of your muscles.
One can experience the toning effect that yoga has on their muscles as well as the flexibility that yoga allows their bodies to have. Yoga is good for stretching out the muscles and releasing the tension while also reducing muscle fatigue and inflammation.
While aging cannot be reversed, some of the adverse effects on the body can certainly be improved through adopting some of the exercises mentioned above. Most of these exercises require no equipment but can be incorporated for more of a physical challenge if you choose.
Remember that exercise can still be fun and manageable even for those who haven’t been as physically active or consistent with their fitness. The exercises listed are all joint-friendly and reduce inflammation significantly.