It has been proven that those who practice a sport, not only enjoy a better physical condition than those who do not, but also enjoy good health. Hence, experts in the field recommend doing some kind of physical activity.
It is true that, at times, this task could become uphill, in view of daily occupations, work, studies, raising children, etc. In fact, in the midst of so much work it is difficult to find time for other activities, even for recreational ones.
However, while you are young, it is likely that you have little awareness of the benefit that exercise brings to our body. But, with the passage of time, when the calamitous days of old age arrive, sedentary lifestyle begins to take its toll. Joint ailments, so-called ailments and other discomforts become a real problem.
What can be done to remedy the situation? We return to the point of origin. Something that can be very beneficial is to exercise. But is it recommended for people who are in the third age? Can they practice all kinds of exercises? How intensely should they exercise? What do they need to achieve this?
Through this article you will find out everything you need to know about how to exercise in old age, as well as the benefits it brings and what should be taken into account when doing so in order to obtain good results and avoid accidents or injuries.
This information will be very useful if you are in the twilight of life, but also if you have a family member at this stage and want to help them lead a much more active life. That way, they will be able to exercise and, at the same time, share quality moments that will strengthen their relationship.
Instructions for exercising in the elderly
Culturally, the elderly are usually related to a situation of absolute rest, where people concentrate on introspection and passive hobbies, such as reading, painting, etc.
But, reaching the third age should not be synonymous with a sedentary life. In fact, recognized entities such as the World Health Organization recommend exercise in people over 65 years of age, since these low-impact activities help improve their heart, respiratory and muscle functions.
Also, being able to do them in a group, brings an additional benefit. The better your interaction with your peers, the better your assessment of the quality of life you lead, as well as the physical, emotional and spiritual balance.
However, having the desire to do some physical activity does not mean that all are recommended for older adults. Ideally, they should exercise with activities that minimize the risk of injury and are indicated for people with this condition. Some of the exercises they can do are the following:
- Aerobics. Some of these exercises are low impact and, therefore, are recommended for seniors. For example, aqua aerobics, cycling, walking, jogging and aerobic gymnastics.
- Yoga or tai chi. These are ideal activities for older adults, since they do not involve great physical effort. In fact, in the specific case of yoga, its practice is highly recommended because it combines stretching, conscious breathing and meditation, which contributes to improving the flexibility and emotional health of the person. In the case of tai chi, despite being a martial art, it also includes the practice of meditation, so it is recommended if what you are looking for is to increase physical strength, agility and balance.
- Swimming. This is a lower impact activity than aquagym or other similar activities. In view of this, it is suitable for the elderly. On the other hand, it is a therapeutic and stress-relieving activity. When swimming, all the muscles are set in motion, which contributes to working the synchronization, while toning the body. It also relaxes and helps fight depression.
- The dance. This activity brings encouragement, joy and energy to the elderly. In addition, it is very entertaining.
On the other hand, it is ideal for working the body and mind, since the repetition of steps and the learning of choreographies is a very effective memorization work to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and senile dementia.
Also, dancing gives them the opportunity to establish good social relationships and helps them express themselves through their body.
Exercises in the gym
But, if instead you would like to go to the gym, these are some of the exercises you can do:
- Horizontal and vertical pushing exercises.
- Horizontal and vertical transition.
- Knee and hip dominants, etc.
No matter what exercise you decide to practice, the most important is the quality of the movements. Therefore, try to identify which muscles are involved with the practice of a certain activity, so you know which one best suit your current needs.
Now, since the desire to exercise is already there, what do you need to achieve it?
What do you need to exercise in old age?
If you decide to do aerobic exercises, you’ll need:
- Light clothing: Try to wear a wide and cool shirt and loose pants that allow you to perform any number of movements freely.
- Sports shoes: you cannot wear any type of footwear. You should choose one that has good grip, that does not slip, that is resistant and comfortable.
- Water: it is important that you watch to be well hydrated when exercising, as dehydration could have negative consequences for your body.
To do yoga or tai chi:
- Clothing that allows you to do movements such as push-ups and other types of stretching.
- A mat on which you can sit or lie down.
- A quiet and quiet place that allows you to meditate without distractions.
- Water to hydrate you from time to time.
If you want to swim:
- A swimming pool.
- Bathing suit or appropriate clothing to wear in the pool.
- A plastic bathing cap.
- Special glasses for water.
- A towel.
In case you decide to dance, you will need the following:
- A space wide enough to move and make different movements freely and without the risk of tripping and falling.
- Fresh and light clothes.
- Sports or dance shoes.
- The music of your choice.
- A dance partner because accompanied will always be better.
- Water to keep you hydrated.
This will be enough to perform basic exercises. But, if you want to specialize in different techniques, you will have to incorporate other additional elements.
Abandoning a sedentary lifestyle in old age can make the difference between a quality life and one full of aches and pains. Among the benefits of exercising in old age we find the following:
- It provides a sense of physical and mental well-being.
- Helps maintain an appropriate body weight.
- It helps in the elimination of body fat.
- It reduces the risk of suffering from different pathologies, such as heart problems, diabetes, cardiovascular accidents and high blood pressure.
- Helps fight insomnia and stress.
- Strengthens self-love.
- It helps to keep blood sugar levels, lipids, etc. under control.
- Delays memory deterioration.
- It favors the release of endorphins.
- Improves musculoskeletal health.
- Helps improve balance.
- Provides greater flexibility.
For these and many reasons it is more worthwhile to exercise during old age. You do not have to resign yourself to leading a passive life, you can make a difference by putting into practice some of the suggestions we have given you. But what things should you keep in mind when exercising?
Tips for exercising in the elderly
When choosing what exercise to do, try to make sure that its execution is simple movements, that does not require the use of much coordination and that you do not have to make very sudden changes, as this could cause you to lose your balance and end up falling or suffer gold type of injuries.
If you are going to use dumbbells, make sure that they are medium or light weight, according to your physical abilities. However, they should never be too heavy. Recognize what your limits are and try not to go beyond them. Remember that there is always the possibility of going from less to more, according to your circumstances and physical condition.
In order for you to have greater stability, the recommendation is that you wear appropriate shoes for the exercise you have chosen and, in the midst of the possibilities, you exercise standing.
If possible, do not rest the weight of your body on your hands, as you may end up injuring your wrists.
Don’t exceed 30 or 40 minutes of moderate physical activity. Otherwise, by demanding more from your body, you could end up too exhausted and sore to do other activities during the day.
In case the person has some problems related to mobility, it is best to do moderate physical exercise, at least 3 times a week, as this will help improve aspects such as flexibility, muscle strength, etc.
If you can’t do physical exercises, for some reason, don’t let the parrot go away! It is best to set aside some time for leisure activities, such as playing board games, this will help you prevent diseases related to the brain.
Remember that every activity is always much more attractive and motivating if you do it in the company of your friends. So, invite them and start exercising together today. It will surely be very beneficial and fun.