As people get older, it can become more and more difficult to stay active. However, exercise offers a number of benefits for seniors, allowing them to stay healthy longer. Exercising on a regular basis can help to prevent diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer as well as to maintain a healthy weight.
Many older adults are worried that physical activity could actually harm them, but studies show that a lack of exercise can cause people to lose their ability to do things on their own.
When looking to work out, it’s important that senior citizens include both aerobic activity and strength training. Aerobic exercises are key to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, increasing energy levels and, of course, burning some serious calories. Meanwhile, strength training is a great way to build muscle and stay lean.
Aerobic exercises that are safe for senior citizens include:
- Walking briskly
- Playing tennis
Strength training exercises that are safe for senior citizens include:
- Slow squats
- Light weight lifts
- Leg raises
As mentioned previously, all exercise, no matter how strenuous, should be monitored closely. In addition to exercising, it’s important to maintain flexibility by stretching. It’s smart to stretch before any endurance or strength training exercises. Try sitting close to the front end of a chair, leaning back on your hands. Raise your legs out in front of you, stretching your feet and ankles by extending your feet forward, then away from your body.
If you are looking to begin a new exercise program, it’s important to check with your doctor first. At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.