Best Exercise Options for Seniors

You’re a vibrant senior adult who’s eager to enjoy retirement with health and wellness, and that’s why you need to exercise. Regular exercise allows you to invest in your physical and mental health and improve your quality of life. Learn more about why and how you can get moving today.

The Importance of Exercise for Seniors

Exercise gives you a variety of short-term and long-term benefits. Consider the ways daily movement improves your health and wellness.

  1. Improve heart health. Give your heart regular workouts and keep this important organ healthy.
  2. Lower blood pressure. With 10 minutes of moderate physical activity three times a day, you maximize your opportunity to lower your blood pressure.
  3. Reduce cholesterol. Exercise stimulates your body’s removal of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the cholesterol that’s linked to heart disease.
  4. Diminish diabetes risk. Regulate your blood glucose and insulin levels with exercise.
  5. Slow osteoporosis. Build and maintain bone strength as you move.
  6. Relieve arthritis. Exercise lubricates your joints and relieves pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
  7. Maintain a healthy weight. Your entire body functions better when you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  8. Develop flexibility. Decrease your risk for falls and injuries when you keep your body limber and flexible.
  9. Strengthen core. A strong core makes your entire body healthier, which can reduce falls and other injuries.
  10. Increase memory and brain function. You can prevent or slow dementia with regular exercise.
  11. Enhance sleep quality. Sleep better at night when you participate in regular exercise during the day.
  12. Boost mental health. Staying active increases your positive mood and reduces depression, anxiety and stress.
  13. Build friendships. Join an exercise class or work out with a group to make and strengthen your friendships and enhance your desire to exercise. As a bonus, strong relationships also build your well-being and mental health.
  14. Promote quality of life. Feel healthier overall, perform daily activities with confidence and enjoy your favorite activities when you exercise regularly.

How Much Exercise Seniors Need

Retired adults like you who are generally fit and have doctor approval should engage in some sort of physical activity each day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you engage in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week or 20 to 30 minutes per day.

CDC recommendations also include muscle strengthening exercises twice a week. They work out your arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, back, hips, and legs.

Your doctor can offer helpful suggestions that ensure you get enough exercise and protect your health. In particular, consult your doctor if you currently take blood pressure or cardiac medication or experience:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath or asthma
  • A heart condition
  • Bone or joint problems
  • Unexplained dizziness or fainting

Best Exercise Options for Seniors

When you’re ready to get moving, consider these wellness activities. They get your feet moving and your heart pumping, and they’re fun. As a bonus, you can enjoy most of these activities with ease in a retirement community.

Swimming: Gentle on your joints, swimming provides a low-impact aerobic workout that improves your flexibility and strength as it works out almost every area of your body.

Cycling: Select this low-impact aerobic exercise to recover from injuries, improve your stamina and reduce blood pressure.

Walking: Moderate walking provides the same health benefits as jogging but is easier on your joints and body. This type of exercise also strengthens your knees, reduces pain and diabetes risk, and helps you manage your weight.

Strength training: Boost your mobility, posture, stability, and bone density and control pain and depression with regular strength training. Gavin McHale, kinesiologist and certified exercise physiologist, maintains that “Strength is the fountain of youth,” so take time to:

  • Lift weights or soup cans.
  • Work out with resistance bands.
  • Do sit ups and push ups.
  • Participate in a yoga class.

Yoga: Whether you’re a novice or an experienced yogi, manage inflammation and pain, reduce anxiety, stress and depression, and build heart health, flexibility, balance, and strength with this activity.

Pilates: Stabilize and strengthen your core, build muscles and improve your flexibility with solo or group Pilates.

Tai Chi: Gentle and flowing yet intentional tai chi movements improve your flexibility, posture, strength, and balance while reducing stress and anxiety.

Dancing: Ballroom, square or line dancing and even dancing as you do housework are low-impact exercises that also give your heart a workout and strengthen your core, muscles, balance, and agility.

Tips to Make Time for Exercise

Gain the benefits of exercise when you make time to move each day. With these ideas, you stay motivated, especially when you join other like-minded seniors who also value regular exercise and movement.

  • Join an exercise class in your senior living community.
  • Ask a friend to join you for a swim or bike ride.
  • Listen to music or an audiobook or watch TV as you work out or do chores.
  • Join an organized sports club.
  • Volunteer to lead an exercise class.

As you make time to move each day, you invest in your health. You also improve your quality of life now and into the future. Take advantage of your senior living community and get enough exercise today.

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Cambridge Village of Wilmington is the area’s premier resort-style retirement community, offering the conveniences and amenities that you’d expect from a luxury independent retirement community. We take a holistic approach to health, treating the whole person and focusing on well­-being in every area: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual. Ultimately, we offer a community that makes people feel at home and an environment they can thrive in.