4 Tips to Help Seniors Be Active
Exercise has many clear benefits. Chief among them are improved physical health, stress relief and emotional well-being. But as a senior, it may be difficult to start exercising if you’ve never been particularly active, or if you have existing health conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis or obesity. Try doing a fun, low-impact physical activity in a social setting. Being with others helps you get and stay motivated.
1. Take ballroom dancing. This aerobic activity stretches and builds muscles, strengthens bones and joints, and improves balance. Memorizing routines will also help exercise the brain. Don’t worry about needing a partner or experience; the instructor will pair you with a dancer at the right level.
2. Learn to garden. Weeding, raking, and hoeing build muscles, improve flexibility, and get the heart pumping. Gardening can also provide the satisfaction of a job well done—just think of the tomatoes come August!
3. Join a class in chair exercise. Sitting down eliminates the risk of losing your balance. You’ll learn to stretch the muscles of the neck, back, arms, shoulders, legs, stomach, and buttocks through gentle motions such as lifting your arms over your head or rolling your shoulders.
4. Try water aerobics. This non-weight-bearing activity uses water’s natural buoyancy to minimize impact on your joints and muscles. Doing exercises such as jumping jacks and dumbbell lifts with most of your body underwater tones muscles while building strength and flexibility.
Always chat with your doctor before embarking on any new physical activity.
Gwinnett Medical Center’s PrimeTime Health program provides several exercise classes like tai chi classes, as well as health education, activities and resources of interest for adults age 50 and older. For more information about PrimeTime Health or to get registration materials, please call 678-312-2676 or enroll in PrimeTime Health, call 678-312-5000.