As we get older, exercising becomes more important in our lives. Seniors typically do not exercise on a regular basis because they tend to get tired easily. However, it’s important for seniors to get some movement in their daily lives to prevent stiff muscles and joints. Nevertheless, the usual Chloe Ting and Pamela Rief workouts are obviously way too intense for our parents or grandparents. Thus, it’s vital to know what kind of exercises are suitable for them. Well, we’ve compiled a list of the best exercises for seniors with a couple of videos from Youtube. This way, seniors can work out even in the comfort of their own homes.
Why Should Seniors Exercise?
- Why Should Seniors Exercise?
- Best Exercises for Seniors (With Videos)
1. Improve Immune System
Lack of exercise is one of the leading causes of severe diseases in the elderly, aside from age and heredity. Diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis are examples of diseases that can be fatal if not treated appropriately and promptly. Being in good health means your body can fight infections and viruses more effectively, which means you won’t get sick around as much as others who aren’t as fit. Being physically healthy also ensures your body recovers from diseases and injuries faster.
2. Builds Up Strong Bones
A feared condition among most seniors is osteoporosis, which happens when one’s bone mass declines with age. The bones then become thinner and cannot handle much weight or force. As a result, falls are more dangerous and the chances of developing complications increase. Thus, regular exercise can help you maintain bone density and strengthen your bones, making them more resistant to stress.
3. Strengthens Brain
As time passes, your brain will go through natural changes, leading your general brain performance to degrade. The shrinkage of some sections of the brain, particularly those involved in learning and executing complicated mental tasks, might have negative consequences for one’s cognitive functions. A healthy body often translates to a good mind, and seniors who exercise regularly have better cognitive health.
4. Promotes Independence
Seniors who exercise on a regular basis are less reliant on others. Regular exercise improves an older person’s capacity to walk, wash, cook, eat, dress, and use the toilet. When a senior is independent, they are more confident and have an overall improved mood. Exercise is one of the finest ways for older persons to keep their independence if self-reliance is a priority. Other than the fact that their physical health will improve through exercising, their mental health will also benefit from this.
Best Exercises for Seniors (With Videos)
Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to get in some exercise. Walking might be a difficulty for some seniors more than others, so it’s important to set individual distance and step objectives. However, those who have trouble walking or suffer from joint pain may prefer to set a lower aim of 10,000 steps each day. Walking can help to strengthen muscles, lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and colon cancer. Due to the pandemic, many seniors have stopped walking regularly. Nevertheless, there are various videos online where seniors can walk on the spot at home. Truly, it’s one of the best exercises for seniors because it can be done indoors or outdoors.
2. Chair Yoga
Chair yoga is a low-impact exercise that brings many health benefits to seniors. This is one of the best exercises for seniors that help increase muscle strength and improve balance. This type of Yoga delivers less stress on muscles, bones, and joints than other forms of Yoga. Additionally, chair yoga has been found to promote mental wellness in older people. Attendees who practise chair yoga regularly report better sleep, fewer episodes of despair, and a better overall lifestyle.
3. Indoor Cycling
In Singapore, there are many spin classes that the younger generation tends to go for. Spin classes are typically high in intensity and may not be suitable for seniors. But lucky for us, it’s not very expensive to purchase a stationary bicycle for your home. Therefore, this is one of the best exercises for seniors to do in the comfort of their own homes. Furthermore, stationary cycling has not much strain on joints. Thus, it’s a safe way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular health.
4. Resistance Bands Workout
Resistance bands are stretchy rubber bands that help increase resistance to workouts while putting less strain on your joints and muscles. For novices, resistance band workouts are easy to perform, which is why it’s one of the best exercises for seniors. Resistance band workouts are becoming increasingly popular among seniors due to the low initial cost of supplies. Thus, it’s an excellent option for at-home exercise. In addition, these exercises are excellent for building core strength, which boosts posture, movement, and balance.
5. Weighted Exercise
Firstly, it’s important to note that the weights should not be heavier than what your senior can carry. Do not attempt to push them to carry heavier weights as they may cause more harm than good. However, weighted exercise is actually one of the best exercises for seniors with various benefits to their physical body. Not only will their arm muscles grow, but they will have better posture and a stronger upper body too. For those aged 50-65, doing weighted exercise while standing can be an option. But for seniors in the older age group should do this exercise while sitting down to prevent strain on the back.
6. Body Weight Workout
Unfortunately, we lose muscles as we get older. Seniors who have had to deal with this muscle loss can sometimes feel defeated. This is because they are no longer able to do certain things that they were able to do a few years ago. Therefore, one way to combat muscle loss in seniors is to engage in bodyweight exercises. There are several advantages to bodyweight workouts, but one of the most important is the low cost. For most bodyweight activities, all that is needed are workout clothing and a mat to reduce the impact on the floor. Thus, we definitely think this is one of the best exercises for seniors to do at home.
7. Tai Chi
Even though it’s a low-intensity activity, Tai Chi offers enormous benefits for improving one’s balance and flexibility. It’s one of the best exercises for seniors to do. Tai Chi can be done outdoors in a communal setting, where many other seniors gather at parks to exercise together. However, if your senior prefers to do this at home, there are many Tai Chi exercise videos on Youtube for guidance. This exercise not only provides physical benefits but also helps to relieve stress and improves seniors’ concentration.
Sometimes exercising can be boring, which is why some people prefer dancing. Well, if your senior enjoys grooving to the beat then introduce Zumba to them. It’s one of the best exercises for seniors that helps improve heart function. Zumba demands a lot of movement, which raises the heart rate and helps the blood flow more quickly. Typically, Zumba is done with other people but due to the pandemic, it’s safer for seniors to stay home. Nevertheless, there are many Zumba videos on Youtube that’s in a class setting so your senior doesn’t feel alone.
Pilates is a renowned low-impact workout that features breathing, alignment, and core strength. This is one of the best exercises for seniors to do at home because all it requires is a mat. However, pilates balls and other accessories can be added on as well. This can help to build strength without the stress of high-impact exercises. Seniors can definitely benefit from pilates, which can help to improve balance.
One of the best exercises for seniors to do in the comfort of their own home is stretching. In fact, stretching can be done almost anywhere. It is recommended that stretching be done in the morning after you wake up and before you eat breakfast. When seniors do this stretching exercise, it helps to improve the stiffness of the joints. Furthermore, stretching is an extremely low impact exercise and is suitable for seniors in the older age group. Additionally, there are a wide variety of Youtube videos on stretching; ranging from easy to difficult ones.