Physical fitness and mental well-being are essential to older adults. In fact, these are two key ways to maintain holistic wellness.
Let’s dive into the benefits of exercise for seniors and discuss how and why you should keep your fitness routine fresh!
Why Is Fitness So Vital for Senior Health?
If you want to live well into the future, you need to give your body and brain the tools and support it needs to achieve those goals. Of course, that’s easier to say than do, but there are fundamental reasons it’s worth the work:
- Being physically active helps prevent cardiovascular conditions. It may help to push off complications from other diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
- Fitness works to improve the overall quality of life. You’ll feel good when you can get out and do something fun.
- Incorporating fitness into your day can also help you to improve mobility. Believe it or not, you need to be active to get rid of aching joints and chronic pain.
- An activity like this is good for the brain, too. It helps you to keep embracing the world around you and engaging with others.
- Fitness can help you manage your weight and reduce the risk and complications from weight gain.
When you haven’t been active for a while, it might be hard to see these benefits. Yet, as soon as you start moving and embracing new ways to do so, you’ll feel the difference in your body.
Changing Fitness Routines Is Essential
Variety is important for many reasons. Not only is it important to get active, but you have to change the types of activities you engage in over time. First, it helps you to stay interested and engaged. That means you’re more likely to get out there and exercise.
In addition to this, it also is essential because variety helps your body to perform at its best. Over time, that walk around the block is going to be easy to do because your body has built up a tolerance for it. Engaging in a variety of activities, on the other hand, helps you to stay in better shape.
If you find yourself always sticking to the same schedule, one workout after another, you may be bored, and you may be limiting yourself. You’re also limiting the benefits these programs can offer to you.
Take a few minutes to track what you are doing now. How long are you engaging in exercise each day or week? What type of activities are you doing? Do you find them as hard to do now as they were when you first started out?
Change is good for you. It helps prevent burnout and keeps you active. And it doesn’t have to be hard to make healthy changes! You can start with something as simple as walking for a longer period of time or doing more reps. That’s going to push you to the next level. Or, consider new types of activities that give you more variation to your workouts each day. That’s going to keep you on track and pushing to new levels.
Need Some Ideas to Try New Things?
Finding new and exciting physical activities to explore can sometimes feel like a challenge. Here are some ideas and tools to help you find new things to try.
- Check out Episcopal Retirement Services’ Wellness Wednesday videos. In this weekly video series, ERS Wellness Director Chloe Hough demonstrates fun but effective exercises you can do at home right now — and with minimal or no equipment.
- If you run out of Wellness Wednesday videos, then check out YouTube. Do a simple search on the platform for “senior fitness videos.” You’ll find a wide range of fun options to try out, just right for older adults. Fitness with Cindy is a great example.
- Embrace yoga. It is one of the best tools available for low-impact fitness that’s safe. Do as much as you can at your pace. Try finding a local in-person or virtual class.
- Go for a walk. Walking outdoors is ideal because it creates small hills and elevations that can offer a bit more of a cardio benefit. Alternatively, you could walk at a local rec center or just around your home.
- Use resistance bands. These bands allow you to use your own bodyweight to improve fitness. They are fantastic for enhancing flexibility and overall mobility.
If you’re unsure what you can do, be sure to meet with your doctor as a first step. Get a better idea of the type of activities that are right for your needs.
If you live at one of our premier or affordable retirement communities, then chances are you’ll have plenty of wellness services available to help you live well into the future! Contact us to learn more about our senior health and wellness programs.