3 Great Ways to Stay Active and Healthy for Seniors

If there’s one thing that researchers are finding out, it’s that the human body doesn’t do well with a sedentary lifestyle. Developed nations and much of the world no longer require a life of physical rigor to survive. 

With new sources and paths to income, humans have been able to get three meals a day, a luxury in our evolutionary past. Life has certainly improved, but as with all things, there are consequences, and they manifest in greater strength as we age. With the increased risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes, physical inactivity is a killer. 

What can seniors do to stay active in their old age without feeling overwhelmed? Well, in this article, we will explore precisely that. Let’s dive in. 


1. Yoga!

This ancient practice has become one of the most popular types of fitness activities, and it works for all ages. The benefits of yoga include improved flexibility and balance, and it also serves as a form of meditation in its own way. 

To the untrained eye, yoga may appear like a string of awkward poses, but mastering each “asana” takes a good bit of effort. While seniors may not be able to manage poses like the Bow (Dhanurasana) or the Wheel (Chakrasana), there are easier variations to try.

Chair Yoga as an exercise for seniors is a great option and incorporates a seated position to perform each pose. MedicalNewsToday states that Chair Yoga benefits seniors who face difficulty with balance and seek to improve their strength without the danger of injuring themselves. 

Some of the best poses in Chair Yoga include: 

  • Seated Mountain Pose
  • Seated Pigeon Pose
  • Seated Cat-Cow Pose

Related Posts

Remember, just because these variations are seen as easier, it doesn’t mean you can rush them. You still want to be careful, ensuring the proper form is maintained throughout each pose. It goes without saying that seniors should be supervised by a trained yoga instructor when practicing each asana.


2. The Nordic Walk

One of the simplest yet most effective forms of exercise, seniors and walks in a garden are an iconic combination. Walking can be boring for some people, so why not make things a little enjoyable and take a stroll through a park or a garden? They usually have benches to take small breaks at, which is an added bonus. 

If you feel like regular walking isn’t interesting enough, consider something like Nordic walking. It involves walking with ski-like poles, which help provide balance. 

Nordic walking is believed to improve and prolong a person’s ‘functional capacity’ even more than other, more intense exercise regimes. It also offers benefits to your cardiovascular health and is still easy on the knees. 

Walking, in any style, is also a great way to keep your weight in check, as obesity is also a serious issue with multiple implications in old age. Harvard Health highlighted two studies from the University of Exeter, which found that even a 15-minute walk can reduce sugar cravings. 

3. Gentle Swimming

This one may seem a little intimidating, but if you have access to a senior-friendly pool with good trainers, it’s a great option. Some seniors might be hesitant to go anywhere near a pool, but the health benefits are surprisingly impressive. 

For one, the buoyant nature of water means that it takes some of the load off of your joints. This makes swimming a great choice for seniors with conditions like arthritis. It’s a low-impact activity that works out the whole body and multiple muscle groups. 

There’s also evidence that swimming goes a long way toward preventing falls due to the stability and posture that it improves. A decade-old Australian study that observed 1,700 men aged 70 and above found that those who swam were 33% less likely to have a fall. 

You don’t even need to opt for a complex swimming style. Even something as simple as the breaststroke is more than enough to get started with. As always, ensure that a lifeguard is always nearby. Cramps in the water are a common issue that all swimmers deal with, but for seniors, it can be an unnecessarily frightening experience. 

A lifeguard nearby can ensure that the senior is taken out of the pool quickly and safely before they begin to panic. 

In conclusion, exercise is an important aspect that shouldn’t be neglected among seniors. However, considering the challenges to mobility that aging brings, it may seem tricky.

Thankfully, there are still a number of ways to ensure that seniors get the exercise they need. From yoga variations to swimming lessons, there are a lot of ways to stay fit and healthy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *