Exercising is fundamental at any age. Here are 5 top exercises for the elderly, to keep them active and healthy.
It is a big misconception that the elderly should not engage in any physical activity, should they be prone to injuries and other reasons.
In fact, senior citizens are highly encouraged to engage in regular exercise.
Regular exercise not only helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but also helps to reduce anxiety, depression and any other negative moods.
Starting to exercise at an older age may be daunting at first. But the trick is to start slow and find an easy routine to follow regularly.
Here are top 5 exercises best suited for the elderly aged 60 and above!
Doing a cardio workout on an exercise bike is one of the most simple and convenient ways for an elderly person to keep fit.
The great thing about an exercise bike is that you can control the difficulty and duration of the exercise. Using an exercise bike bolsters the impact on the knees and back – a big plus for the elderly!
Start off by spending 15 minutes on the exercise bike at the lowest resistance. After 2 weeks or so, increase the resistance slightly or increase the duration of the exercise.
Walking is the simplest exercise with a tremendous amount of benefits. Not only does it help cardiovascular health, but it also helps with joint pain and improves the immune system.
Also, walking outdoors allows for absorption of Vitamin D, getting fresh air and allowing seniors to have a change of their environment.
So, grab a pair of comfortable walking shoes and just start walking!
If you enjoy the water, aqua aerobics is great way to keep fit while not impacting your joints and back too much.
Simply walking in the swimming pool, or doing some laps slowly will give you a great workout – without breaking a sweat!
Control your pace and duration and soon you'll build strength and have better control over your breathing.
The cool swimming pool will come as a blessing, especially on hot days in humid Singapore!
Resistance bands are great accessories to build strength. Rather than carrying heavy dumbbells that are bulky to store, resistance bands can be used anytime, anywhere.
Resistance band training has become rather popular among seniors as it is easy to pick up. As they are versatile, you can also perform many exercises with them.
Check out some resistance band exercises you could do to strengthen your muscles.
Some easy exercises to begin with are leg raises, bicep curls, tricep extensions and chest pulls.
Yoga is a great way to improve mobility and stability in seniors. Also, practicing slow and deep breathing is proven to reduce anxiety and to feel a sense of calmness.
Doing some basic poses every day helps to stretch out your body and improve your stability.
Start off with doing some easy poses like tree pose, warrior II and half bend. And only if your body allows you, to then progress to more complicated poses.
If you are prone to falling, or if you are not flexible, merely sitting on a chair and consciously breathing is a great exercise in itself. Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health.
No matter which exercises you choose for your elderly parent, loved one, or yourself, consistency is the key. If you or they start to get bored, or if the exercise starts to get a little too easy, increase the duration of the workout. Or add a little difficulty to your work.
At the end of the day, as seniors, you don't want to overexert yourself as it could eventually lead to injury.
Finally, before embarking on any exercise routine, please consult your doctor and get the all-clear! We want you and your loved ones to be as healthy as possible :)