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Senior Fitness: Low-impact Ways to Work Out and Improve Your Health at Merritt Athletic Clubs

Senior Fitness: Low-impact Ways to Work Out and Improve Your Health at Merritt Athletic Clubs

Physical health and fitness are important for everybody, but it is particularly essential for a senior’s health and well-being. People over the age of 50 who do not participate in a regular physical exercise regimen should participate in low-impact physical exercise that will not negatively impact their bones, joints, and muscles. There are a number of ways senior citizens can work out together and maintain their physical fitness. Whether they work out alone or with a spouse, a buddy, or a group, the research shows participating in physical activity is beneficial for them.

Swimming: Swimming is a low-stress activity that has many advantages for seniors, including improved heart conditioning, increased versatility, eased muscle stress, decreased chance of brittle bones, and reduced tension. Swimming is a great way for senior citizens to get healthy and enhance their overall health. Because the water relieves stress on bones and joints, swimming has a lower risk of injury. It can even help post-menopausal women avoid bone loss.

Walking: Taking time to walk every day is one of the best exercises for seniors because is promotes physical and mental wellness. It helps burn off calories and fat, improves cardiovascular health, helps to ease tension and stress, and improves concentration.

Yoga: The main advantage of yoga for seniors is that it can be adapted based on the person’s physical abilities. comes in. There are yoga postures that can be performed while sitting, standing, and lying on the back or stomach. It helps a person feel relaxed in body and mind. 

Dancing: Low-impact types of dancing do not put a lot of stress on joints. Plus, they are fun and give seniors an opportunity to interact socially. Types of dancing seniors would enjoy include ballroom dancing, line dancing, and square dancing.

Stretching: For senior citizens who has engaged in little physical activity, stretching can be an important exercise. It helps get fluid flowing in the joints, which is why it is always recommended that a person stretch before any exercise. Suddenly using joints causes friction that results in pain; however, stretching can help to eliminate this risk. Another advantage is that stretching can be done anywhere.

Tai Chi: Mention taking a martial arts class to an elderly person, and you would probably get a strange look in return. However, a martial arts-inspired routine such as tai chi uses slow, rhythmic movements to increase balance and strength. In fact, “The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation states that tai chi may help seniors to combat the fear of falling, a common fear among those over the age of 65.” (Source)

Fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne said, “People don’t die of old age, they die of inactivity.” (Source)  Exercising regularly helps boost energy, maintain independence, manage symptoms of illness or pain, and even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. To be successful, keep these tips in mind:

  • Get clearance from the doctor before starting any exercise regimen, especially if there is a preexisting condition.
  • Ask if there are any activities that should be avoided.
  • Begin slow if you haven’t been active in a while. Build up the level of physical activity little by little.
  • Remember to warm up and cool down.
  • Stay hydrated by having a bottle of water or a sports drink nearby.
  • Set a goal of exercising regularly for three-to-four weeks, so it becomes a new habit. Committing to exercise with a spouse or other person will help keep motivation levels up.
  • Stop exercising immediately and call the doctor if there are feeling of dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pains or pressure, or if joints begin to feel sore.

Contact us for all your fitness needs!