There is plenty of proof that physical fitness has no age limit. Case in point – Harriette Thompson. She is a southerner who has conquered many different marathons in her old age. Harriette’s tenacity saw her set a marathon record during 2014’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego marathon. She claimed the accolade of being the fastest runner in the 90-94 age group.
While not all senior citizens are capable of running for 26.2 miles, there are millions upon millions of senior citizens are engaging in physical activities and benefiting from their active lifestyles.
Top Benefits Of Physical Fitness
Research has shown that there are numerous benefits of being physically fit for senior citizens. The NIH Senior Healthy states that engaging in physical activities can:
Delay Or Prevent Disease
Scientific research has shown that exercising regularly and staying physically active can delay and prevent a variety of diseases and disabilities. In other cases, exercise is an effective treatment option for certain chronic diseases.
Studies have shown that people with arthritis diabetes and certain heart and cardiovascular diseases benefit enormously from regular exercises. Exercising has also been shown to help people with balance issues, high blood pressure, and walking problems.
Improve Mood, Manage Stress
Regular and moderate exercises can help improve one’s mood as well as help manage stress. Moreover, being active can help alleviate or manage feelings of depression. Furthermore, studies have shown that exercising improves or at the very least helps to maintain some cognitive function; it helps retain the ability to shift between tasks swiftly and quickly, ignore irrelevant information, and plan and prioritize activities.
Herein are the top 6 exercising tips for senior citizens.
#1. Engage In Cardio Workout
Regardless of the level of physical fitness that you have, all senior citizens should engage in physical activities that engage their lungs and the heart. Some of the best cardio exercises including jogging and walking. However, if you have a physical limitation, there are plenty of chair exercises that suffice to engage the lungs and heart.
#2. Engage In Strength Training
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend engaging in strength training routines that include warm-up, the strength training routines (done seated or standing with or without weights) that workout the lower- and upper –body, and finally a cool down.
#3. Work On Flexibility And Balance
Falling is the most common accident affecting senior citizens as statistics prove. As such, senior citizens should engage in activities that improve balance and flexibility, including one-legged stands, stretching exercises (especially yoga poses), tai chi, and heel to toe walking.
Taking Deep Breaths
As we age, the chest muscles and the rib cage stiffen up, making breathing a challenge. To counter this, Livestrong.com recommends doing breathing exercises. To this end, you should belly breaths, abdominal-assisted breathing, and humming, which can improve your air flow.
Experimenting With New Activities
Regardless of your age, it is never too late to try something new. For instance, if you do not know how to swim, you can sign up for swimming lessons. If you fancy taking water aerobatics, sign up for lessons. If you have never been good at dancing, sign up for dancing lessons. You can take up to hiking trails if you want to take up jogging but aren’t fun of jogging.
A Good Night’s Rest Is Always Important
Helpguide.org states that regardless of your age, quality sleep is very important for your well-being both on the emotion and physical level. To this end, senior citizens should take steps that improve your ability to get restorative and restful sleep. These include sleep schedules, developing an easy to follow bedtime ritual, a better mattress like this one from icomfort and avoiding taking alcohol, large amounts of liquids, and large portions of food right before going to bed.
While every individual will have his or her own unique level of fitness, having and pursuing physical fitness is very important for all senior citizens.