Fitness Tips, Exercise, and Activities for Seniors

By Brent Bechard

Imagine reducing the aches and pains that come with aging. No doubt, your body suffers wear and tear, but don't think of stiff joints, aching muscles and a sore back as 'inevitable'. Think about being able to get down on the floor and play with your young grandchildren instead. Sounds so much more inviting, doesn't it?

We have not created a magic pill that will extend our lives or prevent degenerative changes, but it is certainly possible to enhance your quality of life. It starts with getting or remaining active and exercising within your abilities. By doing both, you boost your body's ability to handle aging in place. Another piece of the puzzle includes senior care help at home to ensure you stay on task with attaining your goals.

Aging Gracefully Begins with Sound Physical Health

Your health can make or break the quality of life you enjoy. Poor choices will leave your body struggling with age-related problems and illness. Good choices enhance your day-to-day living. You can age gracefully when you make your physical health a priority. It's vital to understand what types of exercises are good for you during this stage of life. Add outdoor activities during the winter months to aid in your mental and physical health. As you contemplate where to begin with physical activity, maintaining motivation will be the next key to your success.

1. Choose the Best Exercises for the Elderly

Would you like to avoid injury and falls? Try strength training. Many people envision lifting heavy weights and bulking up muscles. That is not the goal. In reality, you lose muscle mass as you age. So, when you work to regain some power, your body benefits with greater strength, balance, and flexibility. The trick is to focus on starting smart and picking the suitable types of moves. Remember to:

  • Ease into weights: If you have never lifted weights, or it has been quite a long time since you have, you want to start slowly. You will be sore initially, so be careful not to overdo it. It is a good idea to start with little to no weights and then add them as your progress.
  • Obtain the right equipment: You can undoubtedly start with only your body weight, but eventually, you will want to add items like dumbbells of different weights, resistance bands, a medicine ball, and a chair.

Utilizing the services of professional caregivers services gives you the support and encouragement you need to keep up with your new fitness routine.

Read more about Best Exercises for the Elderly

2. Find Winter Activities to Stay Mentally and Physically Engaged and Healthy

We are not bears; we do not and should not hibernate! So why stay inside this winter? There are many possibilities to get out and about even in the cold weather. Your mind and body will thank you for getting out of the house to enjoy some fun winter activities. Here is how you get started:

  • Think about What You Like to Do in Warm Weather: Be strategic. Do you love to laze around on the beach? That's for summertime. In winter, you will need to add more layers, but you may still be able to take a walk close to the beach or a lakefront promenade.
  • Plan on Dressing Appropriately: Focus on wearing many layers and sturdy shoes or boots, depending on the activity. Be sure you keep your extremities covered.
  • Enlist the Family: Call up your children and grandchildren and invite them along for fun and memory-making.

Going outside helps keep the winter blues away, so does exercise. It is possible to experience tremendous success when you know where to start with a fitness program for seniors.

Read more about Winter Activities for Seniors

3. How to Get Started with Exercising for Seniors

Deciding to begin an exercise routine is only the beginning. The next step is to get started. Here is how you get started exercising for a more muscular body and a healthier way of life:

  • Learn How Much Exercise You Need: Many seniors benefit from about 2.5 hours a week of moderately intense aerobic exercises, such as brisk walks or dancing. You should add muscle training about two days a week.
  • Remember, this is a Marathon – Not a Sprint: Begin your chosen exercise regimen slowly and build up. Protect yourself from injury by doing warm-up and cool-down exercises.
  • Prepare Properly: Invest in a reusable water bottle and use it before, during, and after exercise to keep yourself hydrated. Wear appropriate clothing, including shoes, for the activity you will be doing.

Once you start, you need to stay motivated. Your home care professional can help you reach your goals.

Read more about Getting Started with Fitness for Seniors

4. Finding (and Keeping) Motivation to Exercise as You Age

Many times we start out of the gate with much enthusiasm, which quickly dissipates. The goal is lasting health, and that means you need to stay motivated. Finding your motivation begins with some handy tips, such as:

  • Write Down Your 'Why': When you lose motivation, you might need a reminder to get you pumped up to keep going. Write down why you want to take steps to obtain and maintain health, and then read it when things get frustrating.
  • Aim for Fun and Enjoyable Exercises: Too much routine can get boring unless you break the monotony. Start by choosing exercises and activities you enjoy.
  • Ask for Help with Accountability: If you have to answer to someone about your progress, you may be more inclined to keep up with your routine. Better yet, invite a friend to join you on the journey and encourage each other.

A home care aid is an excellent solution for seniors who want to ensure they stick to their new, healthier way of life.

Read more about Finding Motivation to Exercise

Stay On Top of Your Fitness Regimen with Help from Senior Caregivers

Success is a team effort. The team at Home Instead understands the importance of living at home on your own terms. Our dedicated staff works with you and your family to accomplish your goals. We assist with cooking nutritious meals and many more services. If you need support with dementia or Alzheimer's care, we are here to help.  

Call us at (905) 276-2273 to schedule a no-obligation, in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care we deliver, every day, to families in All Mississauga including: Clarkson, Cooksville, Dixie, Erin Mills, Erindale, Lakeview, Lorne Park, Port Credit, Sheridan, Streetsville

You may also want to learn about Exercises for People with Parkinson’s | How to Have a Better Attitude toward Fitness | You CAN Get Fit in Your 60s, 70s, and 80s | Walking is Effective for Seniors | Safe Exercises for Seniors with Alzheimer’s

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