Physical Activity for the Elderly

The best thing that you can do for your health and your body is to be physically active and work out. It gets even more important when the person grows older. Being more active can help older adults to avoid many health problems, reduce risks of heart disease and strokes and will also help to feel less pain in muscles and joints. And the most significant benefit of physical activity is that older people, we are talking about 65 and older, will be able to continue their routine and daily chores without being dependent on someone else.

Why is it important to exercise?

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, one should exercise at least 150 minutes a week, doing moderate activities.  As it was mentioned above exercising will prevent an older generation from particular health issues and sicknesses, and it will also improve the immune system in general which is crucial for adults.

Moreover, exercising produces endorphins, well-known stress relievers, that will result in stable mental health and a feeling of happiness.  Have you ever heard about insomnia? Seniors have that problem right and left, but doing regular exercises will improve healthy sleep and improve disrupted sleep.

Let’s not forget that older people are very vulnerable and at high risk of falls, which in some cases can be very tragic. Physical activity will improve muscular flexibility and strength, it also improves balance and coordination and with that prevents falls.

Getting older may give some people the feeling of loneliness which can even lead to depression. And what can help? Walking groups with peers, group fitness classes or aqua aerobics will give the feeling of purpose and boring working out can be transformed into fun social engagement with friends.

Here at My Life Choice Hospice, we will help you not only get healthier but provide you with individual support and care.

What type of exercise is best for the elderly?

The main rule for choosing an exercise plan for the older generation is “Any physical activity is better than none”.  It is important to walk more and sit less. Even a short walk with a dog or a quick run to the grocery store will give you more benefits than sitting at home taking meds.

For people aged 65-70 and over it is recommended to focus on a light- to moderate-intensity activity that includes:

  •  Simple aerobics, hiking, swimming, some sort of yoga, dancing and any exercise that will make your heart beats faster would be a great choice.
  • Exercise that will make your muscles work more than usual, like lifting some weights, push-ups, pull-ups, planks, and squads would make wonders. You can also dig deep into gardening, and it will also improve your general health, not to mention all the time spent outside in fresh air.
  • Don’t forget to incorporate your strengthening activities with balancing ones.  Good examples would be walking backwards, standing on one leg then on the other, walking heel-to-toe, etc.

Start from simple and try to increase the intensity and the amount of activity gradually over time.