Regular physical exercise can be more beneficial to the elderly than most people realize. However, there are several additional aspects to devising an exercise plan for seniors, which must also be factored in. Focusing on those factors, here’s an introduction to the kind of exercise regimens that are found to be highly beneficial for them.
The Unique Aspects
There are separate routines for each age group, which cover everyone from children to elders. However, the variations in adult exercise regimen that are made solely based on one’s age becomes significant if the adult is over the age of fifty. Note that these are only generic numbers and only a personalized exercise routine can be accurate in its maximum potential for whom it is created. Nevertheless, there are certain unique aspects to devising an exercise plan for someone older. For example:
- Seniors past the age of 65 have low bone density, which makes them more susceptible to breaks and cracks.
- Age is often accompanied by vascular, cerebral, and heart conditions, so a complete and updated medical history is necessary.
- Seniors past the age of 60 – 65 should always be accompanied during their exercise sessions, preferably by a qualified trainer.
Balancing the Body and the Mind
Exercises for seniors should be divided under two major categories:
- Physical exercises
- Mental Exercises
As we age, our mental acuity also declines, along with our bones and muscles. However, it is possible to lessen the impact of that gradual decline by engaging more in well-planned physical and mental exercise routines. Unfortunately, for older seniors and elders with debilitating health conditions, maintaining that balance or even engaging in regular physical and mental exercises is impossible without assistance. In that case, search for assisted living near me on any search engine and choose a facility that lists regular physical and mental exercise programs as part of their membership.
Mental exercise for seniors could be almost anything that engages their mind, which includes stimulating conversations. However, it is recommended that they also engage in other mental exercises such as:
- Playing chess, checkers, cards, and other stimulating tabletop games.
- Playing video games in racing and 3D platforming genres.
- Solving crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, and similar puzzles.
- Reading books.
Physical exercises have a direct and positive impact on both our physical and mental attributes, which naturally makes a personalized exercise and diet regimen extremely important for healthy living. Keeping the age group in mind, the focus should be on light-moderate strength training. This is based on studies that clearly show resistance training to be more beneficial for seniors than traditional cardiovascular exercises.
As far as the exercises themselves are concerned, they should be chosen by the personal trainer. Nevertheless, elders can reap all the full benefits of strength training by simply relying on bodyweight exercises such as pushups, dives, pullups, free squats, calf raises, etc. If their health permits them to do so, deadlift, front press, and weighted squats can be extremely helpful in retaining bone density and reinforcing muscle fibers.