We all know that staying active at any age is good for your health, but did you know it’s especially important in your later years?
As we age exercise becomes even more important, but it’s not only about looking your best.
Staying active can improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of health conditions such as:
Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can also increase your energy, maintain your independence, boost your brain health, reduce stress, reduce symptoms from conditions such as arthritis, help your mood and improve your sleep.
First of all, we’d like to remind you that it’s best to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Everyone’s individual condition is different, so what’s suitable for one person may not be right for another.
Once you have the all clear, there are plenty of ways to stay active. You don’t have to be frequenting the gym 5 days a week, just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day is enough.
Here are a few way you can stay active:
Some people find it difficult to stay motivated when exercising alone, so why not turn physical activity into a social event! Taking a lovely stroll through a beautiful park or garden is a great way to get your 30 minutes of daily activity and a good chance to catch up with family or friends.
Stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury and strain and also helps build joint flexibility as you age. Stretching may also help movement, improve your posture and balance.
You can develop your own stretching routine, or sign up for yoga, tai chi or pilates. To keep your mind healthy you can also incorporate some meditation into your practice.
If you have any specific health problems, we recommend speaking with your GP or physiotherapist before starting a stretching routine.
Intense, vigorous exercise isn’t recommended for those in their 70s and the last thing you want is to burn out, or worse, injure yourself.
Only you know your limits, but there are plenty of exercises that will help you stay active and healthy. Some easy forms of exercise include walking, dancing, swimming and cycling.
You don’t have to lock yourself into one type of exercise, in fact, keeping it varied may be more beneficial. One day you may want to hit a ball around the court, another take a relaxing bike ride through the park.
The main thing is that you find activities that you find fun and engaging, because you’re probably more likely to keep up with activities that you enjoy, rather than it being a chore.
Cardiovascular activity helps to look after the health of your heart and lungs and is a great way to stay active.
Some cardio activities include:
There’s a myth that weight lifting isn’t safe for seniors, however if it’s done correctly, weight training is another way you can strengthen your bones and muscles.
The gym isn’t the only place to lift weights however, some other ways include:
While it’s not technically physical activity, the brain is a muscle and it’s essential to keep exercising it as you age. Researchers have found that memory loss can be improved by 30 to 50% by undertaking mental exercises.
There are many ways to keep your mind active, including:
Even if you live in an aged care home you can engage in physical activity on a daily basis. At HillView Care our Diversional Therapists are specially trained to help seniors stay active both mentally and physically. Our Exercise Therapists run daily exercise classes, and can assist you to develop a personalised fitness program.
You can live as independently as you like at our Gold Coast aged care homes and our facilities provide the perfect environment to get out and about in the gardens or on one of our community outings.
Find out how you can stay active at HillView and visit our Merrimac or Ashmore homes to learn more.