It’s crucial to stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle during all stages of life – but as we grow older, our needs change drastically. There is now substantial evidence that regular exercise has many health benefits for elders – and more people are turning towards taking up an active lifestyle with senior exercise classes rather than staying inactive.
In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of exercising when old, why it’s so great for senior citizens and some exercises that might not be safe for seniors, along with which senior exercise classes you should choose.
Read on to learn more!
Which Senior Exercise Classes Should I Choose?
Wanting to lose weight? Reduce symptoms? Feeling down? Boost brain function? No matter your goal, there’s no time like the present to get up and start moving!
Let’s look at four online workout programs for seniors that can inspire you to lead an active lifestyle.
- More Life Health Seniors
Join Mike, an experienced seniors’ specialist physiotherapist, and exercise scientist, as he helps you lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.
With his YouTube channel More Life Health Senior, there are numerous videos showing you how to take care of yourself through strength training and simple seated exercises. In addition, Mike has a wonderful website called More Life Health.
It’s chock-full of all sorts of informative content, including articles about how to prevent falls, why you should squat properly, or what your resting heart rate means for weight loss, even if you’re a senior!
- SeniorShape Fitness
Physical activity can help you live a longer, happier life as an older adult. SeniorShape offers several ways to exercise with support from licensed YouTube instructors, making it possible for people of all fitness levels to find something they enjoy doing.
No matter your age or current fitness level, the SeniorShape YouTube channel has something for everyone – whether taking part in a 10-minute class at home or going through an hour-long workout video!
- Bob & Brad
Bob and Brad, physical therapists, have a very popular YouTube channel because they provide a variety of helpful videos. With over 60 years of combined experience, these guys are reliable resources to help you stay fit and healthy.
Bob and Brad provide online workout classes which suit most of your needs, from back-strengthening exercises to advanced knee stretches. There’s also easy-to-follow series called Workout with Jordan, in which you can take part in fast, fat-burning walks or beginner workouts; all taking place inside.
- Senior Fitness With Meredith
Senior Fitness with Meredith provides accessible workout routines for older adults of all levels. Personal training and group fitness certifications make it easy to trust her selection of new and fresh routines that target seniors.
Regular live-stream classes, seated exercises, and gentle airball workouts are some examples of the many different workout selections available on Senior Fitness with Meredith.
What Are The Benefits of Exercising For Seniors?
Age has its own set of physical challenges which differ from those experienced by the young. Because of this, seniors need to stay in shape and maintain an active lifestyle.
Many doctors believe that staying physically fit contributes greatly to a long life without sickness or pain. Being healthy makes every day worth living, no matter your age. This makes senior exercise classes really convenient to target this specific population with correct programming.
The benefits of exercising later in life include:
- Seniors who exercise regularly are less likely to rely on others. According to Harvard Medical School, regular exercise promotes an older adult’s ability to walk, bathe, cook, eat, dress, and use the bathroom, which helps them retain independence.
- Several ailments, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and diabetes, are prevalent among seniors. Unfortunately, these diseases lead to death in many cases; but it doesn’t need to be this way if you adopt a more active lifestyle. Adopting an active lifestyle can reduce the risk of getting one of these diseases while also helping people who already have them manage the unpleasant symptoms they’ve been experiencing. Exercise could save your life – so don’t wait another minute!
- It may seem like being inactive will energize you because it can tire you – however, the opposite is true. Exercise releases endorphins, a key neurotransmitter linked to pain relief and uplifting mood.
- Falling is a much bigger deal for older adults than younger ones. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is taken to the hospital because of injuries they received after they fell – also, every 19 minutes, a senior passes away due to these injuries – according to the National Council of Aging. It can’t be said that all falls are identical, but exercising regularly decreases one’s chance of falling by 23%.
5 Amazing Exercises For Seniors!
Exercise is essential for those who are aging. It cannot be easy to know where to start, especially if it has been some time since you last exercised.
There’s a good chance the exercises that used to work well may not do so now. It’s important to consult a doctor before starting an exercise program; they can tell you which exercises are best suited for your current level of health.
- Chair Yoga
Chair yoga is a low-impact exercise that improves muscle strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility – all of which are crucial health aspects for seniors.
Chair yoga may seem difficult at first, but it’s an accessible form of yoga that provides less stress on muscles, joints, and bones than other more rigorous forms.
As a bonus, chair yoga has been shown to promote mental health in older adults. Regular chair yoga participants sleep better and experience fewer bouts of depression while having a greater sense of well-being.
Pilates is a widely practiced form of lower-impact exercise that can help balance out an individual’s life while also strengthening core muscles.
Breathing and concentration are essential in this discipline, which often utilizes tools such as pilates balls or mats to aid those looking for muscle mass without high-impact routines.
Numerous studies show the benefits of this discipline for the elderly population, including increased flexibility and improved stamina.
One of the best ways to stay in shape is by walking. Walking can be an especially difficult task for people who are elderly, so one person may need fewer steps than another, depending on how long it takes them to finish walking around.
The general public recommends 10,000 daily steps for a healthy lifestyle; however, if it’s hard to walk or you have arthritis, there are alternatives. A PLOS One study found that walking 10,000 steps lowers your chances of mortality by 46%!
Walking promotes a healthy lifestyle and strengthens your muscles while lowering the chance of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer.
- Dumbbell Strength Training
Physical strength has proven to provide relief from diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain, and depression. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Stronger muscles contribute to increased metabolism and improved glucose control. Exercises that include dumbbells are some of the best ways for seniors to strength train. They improve balance and flexibility while strengthening muscle groups when done correctly.
- Water Aerobics
In recent years, water aerobics has become increasingly popular as a form of exercise for all age groups – especially seniors. It’s great for people who suffer from chronic joint pain because you don’t put as much pressure on your joints.
In addition, water provides natural resistance, eliminating the need for strength training weights. It improves your strength, flexibility, and balance with little to no stress on your body.
Older adults seeking an exercise routine are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week; this includes walking, swimming, cycling, and daily time to work on strength, flexibility, and balance.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests at least 10-15 minutes of moderately paced exercise per day for most American seniors who are generally healthy. This may sound like a lot, but thankfully you can break up these hours into smaller periods throughout the day to make it manageable – an hour total could be divided into three 15-minute sessions!
Many popular mainstream exercises are not ideal for adults over 60 years old.
These exercises cater more to people under 30 who would like to bulk up or lose weight in a short amount of time, but they can cause excessive stress on individuals with joint pain, muscle atrophy, and balance issues.
Finding the right senior exercise classes could be the way for seniors to stay strong and healthy in retirement. Perform easy and light exercises to keep you healthy and fit, but always try to push that strength envelope just a little bit at each workout.