It’s important for seniors to exercise daily in order to stay healthy, but it can be difficult to reach your fitness goals for a number of reasons. Sometimes your mobility can slow you down or sometimes the exercises made especially for seniors can be tedious. Doing only chair lifts and pacing around a track for exercise can get boring.
Fortunately, there are plenty of activities and exercises for seniors that can be a lot of fun. From swimming to trying your hand at some new sports technology to bowling, there are plenty of ways for seniors today to exercise and enjoy doing it, too.
One great way to get moving and get fit is through dance. Dancing brings both strangers and friends together and has the added benefit of coming with music, which is great for seniors. From simple swaying to waltzing to swing dancing for the especially adventurous, dancing provides many different ways to exercise.
While dancing is a great way for you to make new friends and interact with other seniors, it can also help to prevent falls by improving balance and gait. Other aspects of your health, like coordination, cardiovascular health, and muscle strength also can be improved through dancing.
Tai Chi is a classic and gentle form of exercise that has been around for at least 700 years. Originating in Ancient China, this low-impact exercise has spread around the globe and is very popular for seniors. Tai Chi is a non-strenuous activity, but it builds core strength and can help relax your mind through meditation.
Tai Chi for seniors improves balance, strength, and overall health. The exercise involves slowly going through a series of continuous motions that are meant to mimic specific actions found in nature. As you breathe deeply and become very aware of the movements of your body, you are able to meditate and stretch your muscles without straining yourself.
If you struggle with mobility or leg strength, then exercises like Tai Chi and dancing might not be right for you. However, that doesn’t mean your only resort is chair exercises. Swimming and water exercises are great low-impact forms of exercise that are ideal for people who struggle with mobility.
Examples of popular water-based exercise for seniors include:
- Swimming laps
- Water aerobics
- Aqua jogging
- Water volleyball
- Flutter kicking
If you have the right equipment, then biking is a fun way for seniors to move around their local area and see different parts of your community. They say you never forget how to ride a bike, and for the most part that’s true. Biking is a skill like any other, and it may take some practice if you haven’t tried in a while. But, if you have the mobility, then biking can help you work out multiple parts of your body and get out of doors.
Mall Walking and Window Shopping
Getting daily exercise through walking is often encouraged for seniors, but wandering the same walking path day after day can get tiring. Mix up your walking routine by taking it into the community. Local downtown areas or malls are great places for you to walk around and see what’s for display in shops.
Of course, with spring coming up walking around outside can also be a fun activity. Joining a senior walking group and switching between indoor and outdoor locations with your friends can make walking a fun group outing.
Try introducing some technology into your exercise routine! Wii Sports is a video game that helps you exercise and reach your daily activity goals. If you don’t want to leave home, go outside, or if you don’t have much mobility, then you may want to check it out. Some games can be played while seated, and it’s always fun to compete against your friends.
Wii Sports includes games like:
An activity that can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors is gardening. As the weather warms up, setting up some planting pots or starting a garden outside is a great way to get your heart rate up. Digging around in dirt may not seem like exercise, but the movement also helps build and maintain muscle.
If you struggle with bending or have sore joints, raised pots and planters are a great alternative that still allows you to enjoy gardening without the pain of getting up and down. Joining a gardening club can help you meet new people and enjoy this fun activity with others.
It’s important to keep active and fit as you age, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on trying new hobbies or finding new and exciting ways to meet your fitness goals. The important thing is that you get out there and have fun.