The Best Types of Exercises for Seniors

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There is a belief that the elderly should either limit their physical activity or be extremely careful performing any exercise. After all, as many people reason, working out is not going to reverse the clock, so why bother with exercises for seniors? Such logic, however, is unfounded. We now know that people who take care of themselves and work out from about age 40 onward can live for a long time.

Health and longevity are attributed to your genes and disposition as well as to lifestyle. You have to take all of these factors into consideration. Some people live the worst possible lifestyle yet live to be 100. We often hear that attitude, or a positive mental and emotional state, is crucial to keeping people healthy and active. With a healthy mindset and lifestyle, a person may live for over 100 years and actually surprise people when he or she eventually dies.

When asked for the secret to their longevity, such long-lived people may claim some dietary trick; but invariably, an active lifestyle is the most important part of the equation. They remained mentally and emotionally engaged and avoided a physically sedentary life.

Exercises for seniors are a bit different from exercises for younger folks, depending on how active a given person has been throughout his or her life. If you have been a lifelong runner, then at 70-odd years of age, there is no predetermined reason why you should not continue.

That said, regular visits to the physician, including an annual physical checkup, are important to determining your health and fitness level. Based on your doctor’s advice, you may have to adjust your exercise routine--for instance, speed walking instead of running--but by no means should you cease cardio workouts unless instructed by your doctor.


Exercises for Seniors

There are several safe, effective exercises for seniors. These suggestions are appropriate for nearly any fitness level or genetic disposition with regard to aging and health. Although these exercises can be performed solo, most seniors do them in a group or class. This is perhaps in part because active seniors tend to be highly social.

One recommended type of exercise is water aerobics, which is offered at local community centers and even condos. Water aerobics and senior yoga classes are great ways to meet others and start off your day. Another popular option is mall walking clubs, which meet at a local indoor mall and walk together as a physical and social activity before the mall opens.

Programs Offering Exercises for Seniors

Most cities have a YMCA, and this organization has partnerships with local gyms. The “Silver Sneakers” program offers a free or heavily discounted rate to seniors at a participating gym. Seniors can work out and take classes together and even work with a personal trainer at certain times of day. Most seniors are morning people because as you get older, you expend less energy and need less sleep.

As you can see, a wide range of options exists when it comes to exercises for seniors.