Exercise and physical activity are vital for everyone – whatever your age. Exercise maintains your health, supports weight loss, prevents injuries, and can even lower the risk of heart disease. At Origin Active Lifestyle Communities, we know that staying active can dramatically increase the quality of life as we age. However, staying active can also become more challenging the older we become.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2013 only 1 in 5 adults achieved the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. Most of these inactive, older adults do not realize the health benefits of active living. No matter your age or physical abilities, we are encouraging all seniors to get fit with Origin in 2019!
By incorporating one of the following types of exercises into a routine, seniors can gain all the benefits that active living has to offer! As with any health regimen, we suggest that you check with your health care provider before starting this or any exercise program.
Aerobic, or endurance, exercises are activities that increase your breathing and heart rate. Endurance exercises for seniors can include walking, bicycling, swimming, dancing and even household chores like raking or sweeping. Alternatively, grab a friend for a quick game of tennis – and take advantage of the physical and social benefits of active living!
If you are typically inactive, it is important to start slowly with endurance exercises like a slow walk and graduate to a more brisk walking. Be sure to stop any activity if you begin to feel dizzy, lightheaded or feel any chest pain or pressure.
Strength exercises for seniors can help to counteract age-related muscle loss, maintain healthy bones and help combat cognitive decline. Like with endurance training, you want to start slow as not to overwork your body. Strength training can include squats, pushups, lunges or rowing.
An estimated 1 in 3 seniors falls every year making balance exercises particularly beneficial for seniors. These activities can include practicing standing on one leg (also called flamingo stands), heel raises, and back or side leg raises. You may perform these basic balance exercises while standing in the kitchen or waiting in line at the grocery store!
In addition to balance exercises, make sure to keep your home clear of any clutter or loose electrical cords that could cause a tripping hazard. Be sure to also get your vision checked once a year to ensure proper eyesight.
Flexibility, or stretching, exercises for seniors help to maintain joint flexibility instead of relying on prescriptions or assistive medical equipment. These exercises can include:
• Static stretching, or holding a steady, stretch for 30 seconds or more with the focus on lengthening a specific muscle or group of muscles.
• Dynamic stretching focuses on a particular muscle or group of muscles more actively. It is typically encouraged to dynamically stretch before a static stretch to warm up muscles and avoid injury.
Whichever exercises you choose to do, make it fun! Listen to music, invite friends or join a physical fitness class – get active and fit with Origin this year! To learn more about Origin Active Lifestyle Communities or active living, visit our website today!