Exercise and good health is as important for the elderly as it is for the younger generation. In fact, a recent research by the University of Alabama, Birmingham has clearly stated that there is a greater need for frequent exercise among older adults than for the younger people.
Preventing any kind of physical activities completely, known as detaining, can cause significant reductions in strength in just a few weeks. The best way to start a fitness regime is by opting for low – impact exercises. Here are some that you can make a part of your daily fitness routine.
The first thing that definitely comes to one’s mind while talking about low-impact endurance exercise is walking. The basic idea is to adopt a regular low-speed walking program with frequent intervals in between. You can even add a few hamstring stretches and ankle rolls to ensure overall flexibility. However, take adequate protection measures by using proper walking shoes with cushioning affect. This will make your regular walks safer and more comfortable.
Another great exercise for improving flexibility and endurance, swimming has a number of benefits for the elderly. It is an ideal low-impact exercise as it reduces the stress on bones and joints and is extremely helpful for improving the cardio-vascular functions. A minimum of 20-30 minutes is sufficient to keep your entire body conditioned.
Group exercise sessions
It is true that maintaining a regular and uninterrupted fitness routine at this age canbe a tad bit challenging. But, we have a solution for this as well. Heard about group sessions? They are great options to keep you going and you can learn a lot from each other in the process. From cardio training to yoga postures; group programs are a great way to maintain an active lifestyle.
Does the word yoga conjure an image of “impossible” postures that are intense in nature? It is true that many yoga positions involve a complex combination of stretches, balance and strength training. However, there are many others that are easier to perform and can be learned easily with the help of trained yoga instructors. These involve simple breathing exercises combined with low-impact meditation postures and a few basic stretches.
A fun and enjoyable way of combining fitness with pleasure, gardening is a great way to work your muscles and remain healthy. However, it is important that you take extra care to avoid any kind of strain or stress to your back muscles. Also, keep yourself properly hydrated by drinking plenty of water as normally gardening is a warm-weather activity.
Golfing is another fun way to work up your body muscles and maintain overall flexibility and fitness. If you have never learnt before, you can even take a few classes in the basics of golfing. It is a good idea to ensure that you do a few stretches of your calves, hips and upper body to avoid any kind of injury.
These forms of fitness programs involve a perfect combination of cardiovascular exercises and strength training. You can even provide resistance to your muscles to strengthen them without causing any strain to your joints and bones.
- Exercise plays an important role in making our heart stronger by improving blood flow and decreasing its workload.
- With exercise, the heart gets stronger because it gets bigger and is able to pump more efficiently.
Exercise allows your heart to push out a greater volume of blood with every beat and it does so at a lower heart rate. It also improves the blood flow to the heart by improving the heart’s ability to have its coronary blood vessels dilate. These changes in parallel improve both the supply and demand of the heart.
Exercise helps lower high blood pressure by improving the ability of your blood vessels to dilate, making the pressure on those vessels less.
Exercise also improves your blood sugar levels and makes you leaner; this allows your heart to pump blood at lower pressures, thereby making your heart work less.
The general recipe for exercise toward a healthy heart is FIT: (Frequency Intensity Time).
For frequency: You should exercise five days a week. Find something you like so you are more likely to stick with it.
For intensity: You should do the talk test. If you can hold a normal conversation with little breathing trouble while exercising, this is the right intensity.
For time: You should exercise 30 to 60 minutes per day, and it doesn’t have to be all at once. The important factor is that you do as much physical activity as you can throughout the day. Sources