Easy and Safe Exercises for Seniors

Easy and Safe Exercises for Seniors

With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women, it is very important to start implementing ways to help maintain heart health in your life. However, it is even more important for your aging loved one to maintain a healthy heart. As you age, you start to lose muscle, your metabolism then decreases, and your heart must work harder as a result.

The easiest way to help your body create, strengthen, and avoid losing muscle is to add an exercise regime to your lifestyle. While most seniors won’t be able to hit the gym and lift heavy weights everyday, there are plenty of exercises and cardiovascular activities your aging loved one can add to their daily routine to help maintain their heart health.

Walking

The best and easiest exercise to introduce your aging loved one to cardio is walking. All your loved one needs is 30 minutes a day and an area to walk. A few great areas to get your loved one walking include the mall, around the neighborhood, or a local park. If exercising is not something your loved one is used to doing, experts suggest starting off with a 10 minute walk and increasing it as your loved one feels comfortable until they are able to walk about 30-40 minutes continuously. Walking is a great way to ease into other cardiovascular activities and an exercise most people can do daily if they carve out the time to do it throughout the day.

Jogging

Light jogging can be very beneficial to your heart. Most seniors should start with a 10-minute walk as a warm-up and ease into a light 3-5 minute jog. Then, increase the time spent jogging as your loved one feels comfortable until he or she can do 20 minutes of light jogging. Jogging is something that seniors should try to do 2-3 times a week.

Cycling

Whether you use a stationary bike or are able to bike outdoors, cycling for seniors can be very beneficial for their heart health while minimizing wear and tear on your body’s joints and muscles. Cycling also helps your heart reach a steady rhythm and ensures a lower resting pulse.

If your loved one has balancing issues, stationary bikes might be best. Stationary bikes can be found at a local gym, fitness center, and can be purchased for at home use. If your loved one wants to try cycling out, a beginners spinning class might be best.

If your loved one is able to ride a bike, ensure the bike is in good shape and comfortable. Your loved one should also be sure they are protecting their body. To help protect your loved one’s body, ensure they are wearing the appropriate safety gear like helmets and knee pads, are stopping when they need rest, and are staying cautious when out on the bike. Seniors who want to start biking can find more information here.

If cycling is your senior loved one’s preferred activity, they should be cycling 2-3 times a week.

Yoga

Yoga is great exercise to help promote heart health as well as help with joint and muscle issues and improve balance and stability. It is important to note that yoga poses should not hurt. Easing into yoga by starting with a beginners course or a course specifically tailored to seniors is best. If the senior in your life is interested in yoga, call a local yoga studio to see what classes they could benefit from or try a yoga class online. A great resource for gentle yoga exercises for seniors can be found here. Seniors wanting to implement yoga in their life should try to perform yoga exercises 2-3 times a week.

Swimming and Water Aerobics for Seniors

Water acts as a great tool for exercising for many reasons, especially for seniors. First, water acts as a form of resistance, making it a great tool for strength training. Additionally, water reduces joint pain with its buoyancy, meaning more exercises can be done if your loved one suffers from joint pain. Further, exercising in the water can help increase flexibility and balance while also promoting heart health.

If possible, have your loved one join a class at a local fitness center. A few water aerobics to do on your own include:

Aqua Jogging

One way to perform this exercise is to jog in the pool from one side to the other.  Another way to aqua jog is to jog in place for a set time limit. This exercise promotes keeping your heart rate up.

Arm Curls

Using water weights or just your arms, hold your weights or hands in front of you facing out. Then curl your arm upwards and back down. Continue this exercise until tired. This exercise promotes increased arm strength, more flexibility, and better heart functioning.

Flutter Kicking

Hold onto the side of the pool and flutter your kick your legs until fatigued. By performing this exercise, you are increasing leg strength and increasing your heart rate.

Heart health is one of the factors seniors become concerned with as they age. Needing help around the home for daily activities is another area seniors may become concerned with. Contact At Home Senior Services today to learn more!