TIRED of being unhealthy in retirement? Looking for ways to stay active in your golden years? Follow our acronym below for some ways SENIORS can S.T.A.Y. F.I.T.
Swimming and Water Aerobics. Exercising in the water is a great low-impact activity and it is fun! Water exercise is gentle on the joints, helps build muscle and improves heart health. The water provides both support and resistance and can be a great option for deconditioned seniors hoping to improve their fitness.
Take a walk. Walking improves both mental and physical health. It can reduce pain, lower blood sugar, and keep the heart-healthy. Walking costs next to nothing (although strong sturdy shoes are required), maintains independence and can provide a change of scenery. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends older adults participate in 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are not regularly active, this may be intimidating. Starting with a 10-minute walk and building up time and pace can be a great step to staying active as a senior.
Activate muscles. Strengthen your muscles using resistance bands, dumbbells, and your own body weight. As the body ages, it naturally loses muscle tone. Regular low-impact strength training helps seniors build and maintain muscle. It also improves bone density, increases cardiovascular endurance, and boosts your mood. Start with lighter weight dumbbells and easier resistance bands to build up strength over time. Consider beginning with lower body strength building, as this can also reduce fall risk.
Yoga and Pilates. There are many different practices of yoga and even different types of Pilates. Each has programs that can be started at almost any fitness level and are typically easy to follow along with. Both can reduce stress, build muscle, and increase flexibility. Routines can be performed at your own pace and are a great way to connect with others.
Flexibility and Balance. Improving your flexibility strengthens muscles, helps you have fewer injuries and less pain. It also increases your range of motion, making it easier to participate in the activities you desire. Make daily habits of stretching your body to become more flexible. Balance is important as well. It not only keeps you stable on your feet but also gives you body awareness and greater coordination. Seniors are at a higher risk of falling, so working on and maintaining strong balance is especially important.
Improve Wellness. Incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine can help you live a happy active life. Eat well-balanced meals, drink plenty of water, get regular check-ups, and maintain quality relationships. Little changes can add up to big results, giving your more energy and motivation to stay active in retirement.
Try New Activities. Within your own fitness level and ability, challenge yourself to participate in new active interests. Take up a new hobby. Always wanted to try Tai Chi or tapdancing? Gardening, bike riding, or bowling? Give it go! Even if you find out an activity is not for you, stepping out of your comfort zone might lead you to a new passion. Pursue pastimes that bring you joy and keep your mind and body active.
Staying active as a senior makes your retirement years even more rewarding. Enjoy your life, you’ve earned it! Be healthy and S.T.A.Y. F.I.T! If you have an injury or ailment that is stopping you from staying fit, give one of our clinics a call or request an appointment online. Our professional staff can help you address all your problems, allowing you to live your best life!