7 Best Exercises for Seniors (and a Few to Avoid!)
Regular exercise is especially important for seniors, according to a growing body of research. This article will show you the seven best forms of exercise for seniors, as well as some exercises that may be harmful to their health.
The Health Benefits of Exercise in Older Adults
Seniors should stay as active as possible without overexerting themselves, according to doctors and researchers. Exercise helps you live a longer, healthier, and more enjoyable life; some of the benefits of exercising later in life include improved mental health and increased lifespan.
More exercise means more independence for seniors:
Regular exercise promotes an older adult’s ability to walk, bathe, cook, eat, dress, and use the restroom, according to Harvard Medical School. Seniors who exercise regularly are less likely to rely on others.
Exercise improves balance for older adults:
According to the National Council on Aging, an older adult is admitted to an emergency room for a fall-related injury every 11 seconds, and a senior dies from a fall every 19 minutes. Experts say that regular exercise reduces the risk of falling by 23%.
Regular exercise means more energy:
Exercise releases endorphins, which are important neurotransmitters linked to pain relief and a sense of well-being. Endorphins fight stress hormones, promote healthy sleep, and make you feel more lively and energetic overall.
Exercise helps prevent and counteract disease:
Heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and diabetes are all common diseases among the elderly, and adopting a more active lifestyle can help prevent them. If you are at risk for disease, exercise may be the key to avoiding a painful condition.
Regular exercise improves brain function:
A healthy body is likely to be accompanied by a healthy mind, and seniors who exercise regularly have better cognitive health.
The Best Exercises for Seniors
If you haven’t worked out in a while, re-entering the active world can be intimidating; there’s a good chance the exercises you’re used to aren’t appropriate for older adults. Consult a physician before beginning an exercise regimen to ensure you’re healthy enough.
1. Water aerobics
Water provides natural resistance, eliminating the need for weights in strength training, making it ideal for those with arthritis and other forms of joint pain. Exercises for seniors include aqua jogging, leg lifts, and standing water push-ups.
2. Chair yoga
Regular chair yoga participants have better quality sleep, lower instances of depression, and report a general sense of well-being. Chair yoga is an accessible form of yoga that provides less stress on muscles, joints, and bones, and has been shown to improve mental health in older adults.
3. Resistance band workouts
Resistance bands are stretchy strips of rubber that add resistance to workouts while putting less stress on your body. Resistance band workouts are simple and easy to do, and they’re great for strengthening your core, which improves posture, mobility, and balance.
Pilates is a popular low-impact form of exercise that was developed a century ago and has been shown to improve balance, core strength, and flexibility in older adults. Mermaid movement, food slides, and leg circles are some great pilates exercises for older adults.
Walking 10,000 steps per day reduced the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer by 46% over a ten-year period. Walking promotes a healthy lifestyle while strengthening muscles and lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer.
6. Body weight workouts
Body weight workouts are one of the best ways to counteract the effects of muscle atrophy in older adults, and some great body weight workouts for seniors include squats to chair, Bird dog, and lying hip bridges.
7. Dumbbell strength training
Dumbbell exercises are some of the best ways for seniors to strength train because they allow them to isolate muscle groups to strengthen while also improving balance and flexibility. Here are some examples of good dumbbell workouts for seniors:
Exercises Seniors Should Avoid
If you’re over the age of 65, you should probably avoid the following exercises, which make up a large portion of popular mainstream workouts.
Why is it hard for elderly to gain strength?
Scientists have discovered that one of the most effective ways to increase muscle mass and strength is through intense resistance training. As muscle mass and strength declines, seniors lose strength, which affects their ability to perform activities of daily living and increases the risk of falling.
How can I improve my weakness in old age?
What can I do to feel less exhausted?
- Keep a fatigue diary to track when you feel more or less tired throughout the day.
- Exercise regularly. Almost anyone, of any age, can engage in some form of physical activity.
- Avoid long naps (over 30 minutes) late in the day.
- Stop smoking.
- Ask for help if you’re overwhelmed.
Why are elderly so weak?
Reduced physical activity is one of the causes of muscle weakness in the elderly , as inactivity and aging cause a significant increase in endo- and perimysial connective tissue, resulting in changes in the mechanical properties of the skeletal muscle .
How can I build muscle in my 60s?
Take note, retirees, and flex that bicep: 2017 could be the year you start building muscle again.
- Get professional assistance, such as a few sessions with a personal trainer, if you can afford it.
- Always listen to your body.
- Stay hydrated.
- Eat well.
- Wear appropriate clothing.
- Work out with others.
What causes weakness in legs of elderly?
While these are the most common causes of sudden leg weakness in the elderly, other less common causes include Guillain-Barre syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Peripheral Neuropathy, Parkinson’s, ALS, spinal tumors, and others.
How much sleep is too much for elderly?
Adults (18-64) should sleep for 7-9 hours, while older adults (65+) should sleep for 7-8 hours.
How much sleep does an 80 year old need?
Sleep Changes in Older Adults. Most healthy older adults, aged 65 and up, require 7-8 hours of sleep per night to feel rested and alert. However, as you get older, your sleep patterns may change, which can lead to insomnia.
What causes inability to walk in elderly?
Older age, low physical activity, obesity, strength or balance impairment, and chronic diseases such as diabetes or arthritis are the most common risk factors for mobility impairment.
What makes you lose strength in your legs?
Muscle weakness can also be caused by neuromuscular diseases such as myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that causes muscle weakness) and multiple sclerosis (a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and causes weakness, coordination, balance difficulties, and other issues).
Can elderly regain leg strength?
Seniors should strength train two to three times per week, focusing on all major muscle groups during each session. Legs are an important part of the equation when it comes to strength training. Consistent weight training and stretching will improve muscle strength and flexibility.
Should seniors lift heavy weights?
Senior weight training not only increases strength, but it also improves motivation and self-confidence, allowing seniors to continue with the activity. It can also help older adults sleep better, be happier, and have better focus, as well as help prevent dementia and other degenerative diseases.
Is it too late for older adults to do strength training?
Should seniors lift weights? The American College of Sports Medicine now recommends weight training for all people over 50, and even people in their 90s can benefit.
How do you reverse muscle loss in the elderly?
Cardiovascular Training While resistance training is the most effective way to reverse muscle loss, cardio training is also important for muscle maintenance. Examples of cardio training include bicycling, swimming, jogging, long walks, dancing, and yoga.