Find out 8 beneficial activities to take part in as you get older to work your muscles, heart, coordination, balance, and even your social life.
There is never a bad time to start getting active, especially when you’re moving into older age. Exercise benefits everyone whether they consider themselves to be older and infirm, or if there are diseases present like osteoarthritis or heart disease. Being more physically active as an older person could actually prevent diseases, as well as avoid disability. It also strengthens the bones and helps prevent falls, the UK’s leading cause of death amongst the elderly.
If you are in a residential care home or have live-in care, then there may already be exercise programmes that you can access, but there is nothing wrong with doing even more exercise if you can. Here are 10 activities to keep you fit in old age to help get you inspired:
Yoga may seem like an activity only for the most flexible and youthful of people, but yoga can be done by anybody. It is wonderful for increasing flexibility, core strength and balance as well as helping to keep your joints in full range of motion. There is even seated yoga if you’re unsteady on your feet. You could do a class at home with your home help, or even suggest it as a residential care home activity for everybody to do.
Aerobic exercise helps to make the heart stronger and walking is an excellent gateway exercise to more intense aerobic activity.
- Resistance Training
Lifting weights is an excellent exercise to do as an older person because it maintains muscle mass which helps to maintain balance. It also strengthens your bones and joints. Do make sure you seek professional advice before using weights so you can be sure you are using them safely and effectively.
Swimming is an excellent activity because it is low impact and enables you to work muscles and get the heart beating easily. Try swimming with friends to increase your likelihood of keeping the hobby up, and to enhance your social life.
Gardening works lots of muscles and keeps you moving whilst you do something productive. You can benefit from all the movement and from the fruit and vegetables you cultivate in your garden too.
When you live alone cleaning the home can seem like an unnecessary chore at times. However, a tidy home really does equal a tidy mind and cleaning the home means you can get moving with a purpose. Exercises like walking up and down the stairs, cleaning the windows, washing the pots and hoovering are all great for moving the joints, muscles and for getting the heart going.
Ballroom dancing is a lovely past time if you want to meet new friends and learn a new skill. It keeps you moving, works coordination and balance, and it is a gateway to events and occasions that are social and a good excuse to get dressed up!
Zumba and similar classes are ideal for the older generation because they use easy and repetitive movements that increase blood flow to the heart, work balance and coordination and they are a great place to meet friends.
Keeping fit is important at any age, but is extra important when you get older to keep you mobile and independent. Find an activity that interests you that you can enjoy regularly, ideally with friends, your body, mood and your social life will be all the better for it.