It’s important that senior citizens maintain their balance and mobility as the aging process reduces both abilities. The question is — what is the best way to accomplish this?
The answer is that it’s really up to you; there are options available. In fact, any exercise is beneficial.
Senior Citizens: Your Balance Is Important
Senior citizens have the highest rate of falls compared to any other age group. These falls can cause serious injuries and even death. Therefore, it’s important to exercise in order to maintain that stability and mobility. Not exercising will increase your risk for cardiac arrest.
A recent large study found that lack of fitness is responsible for twice as many deaths and disabilities in seniors compared to those who do exercise. Even moderate exercise is beneficial and reduces your risk for bad outcomes by 30%.
Walk, Walk, Walk
Yes, if you’re walking, then walk briskly to gain maximum health benefits. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. You can break this up into five brisk 30-minute walks.
There are other exercises that you can do. For example, do five walking lunges for each leg. Or, detour your route to include hills or stairs.
Swimming is another great exercise and you can substitute this for walking 1-2 days each week. Also, be aware that strength training is is also very important as you age.
Do at least two days a week of resistance training, including pushing and pulling exercises for both the upper and lower body.
Don’t break into a sweat thinking that strength training as lifting heavy weights in a gym. On the contrary, all you need to do is add resistance to movements, or simply work against gravity.
For example, carry a laundry basket up the stairs, or walk to the end of the driveway and back carrying full gallon jugs. Indeed, even squatting to clean under your furniture counts as strength training.
Other strength exercises you should consider are using stretch bands at home, and it’s very effective. Lastly, do a full-body workout with push-ups, sit-ups, squats and lunges — no weights are required.