Staying active is a key component to maintaining optimal health, both in the present and later on as you enter your golden years. Maintaining physical activity in this stage of life is crucial, as the right amount of physical activity not only extends your lifespan, but keeps the rest of your body functioning properly as well.
However, certain types of physical activity can have adverse effects on the bodies of older adults, leading to health issues, injuries and other complications. Fortunately, there are several low-impact movements and exercises that can strengthen muscles, limbs and extremities.
The Best Physical Activities for Assisted Living Residents
Depending on your assisted living facility’s equipment and features, all the exercises below are perfect for seniors to enjoy and engage in safely:
- Swimming – Swimming is a great activity for seniors, allowing for full range of motion and other bodily movement. Swimming provides opportunities for every limb to move and exercise without the physical pressure that would be experienced were the exercises being performed out of water, while still maintaining a similar level of intensity.
- Yoga – Yoga is a perfect meditative exercise that not only calms the mind and relieves stress, but allows your ligaments, muscles and tendons to be fully stretched, increasing flexibility and reducing rigidity and stiffness in joints and other parts of the body.
- Tai Chi – An ancient Chinese art that is regularly practiced by senior citizens throughout Asia and has spread around the world, Tai Chi focuses on rooted stances and methodical movements and is similar to yoga in certain ways. Studies have shown that Tai Chi practitioners are less likely to fall thanks to improved balance and enjoy generally enhanced psychological health.
- Dancing – Dancing is fun for all ages, no matter the style. Whether it’s slow dancing or salsa dancing, movement from dancing not only keeps you in shape and your body accustomed to movement, it can also create feelings of liveliness and happiness, making it a great activity for both physical and psychological health.
- Weightlifting – Maintaining muscle mass and strength is crucial and weightlifting is a great way to build strength. Free weights, barbells or bench presses are perfect for working out your arms, biceps, triceps and pectoral muscles. Weightlifting into your golden years will keep you strong and capable of heavy lifting or lifting yourself up.
- Walking – Walking is one of the best forms of traditional exercise you can get. Human bodies are designed to be upright and walk, and sitting for long periods of time have proven to be detrimental to one’s overall health. Whether it’s a walk around the block or speed walking for a mile, any form of movement can stave off the negative health effects that sitting for long periods of time can cause.
However, before doing any of these exercises it’s always best to consult a doctor to see if your body is physically capable of performing them to reduce chances for injuries. Your doctor can also recommend equipment to use or personal trainers to exercise with to ensure your form and methods are performed correctly to prevent injuries from occurring in the midst of an activity or exercise.
Find an Activity and Stick with it for the Long Run
A lively lifestyle is key to enjoying and getting the most out of your golden years. No other assisted living facility provides you with the ability to enjoy physical activities and ample access to activity equipment more than Ivy Gables. Contact us today to join an assisted living home that will keep you active and enjoying your golden years to the fullest.