Best Exercises for Older Adults
Exercises older adults can do to promote healthy aging
As you get older, it is important to be physically active. Regular exercise helps you maintain your independence and stay healthier as you age. It makes it possible for you to do more and live in less pain. There are several ways to stay physically active, but what are the best exercises for older adults?
Keeping up with existing activities
When it comes to the best exercises for older adults, the key is to find activities you want to do and that you will do consistently. That means if you still enjoy doing the same types of activities as you did when you were younger, there’s no reason not to do them as long as you are able. You may need to make modifications to existing activities to avoid injuries or accommodate for health concerns. Some people find new activities they enjoy as they get older. Infusing new life into your workout routine always keeps things fresh and interesting.
New types of exercises to try
Trying to decide what type of exercise to do? Here are some of the best exercises for older adults.
It’s recommended that older adults get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. That equates to 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. Some of the best choices for older adults include walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, or using an elliptical trainer. These are low-impact activities that get the heart pumping and the lungs working harder.
Strength Training Exercises
In addition to aerobic exercise, it’s also important for aging adults to do exercise that strengthens muscles. As we age, muscle and bone mass naturally declines, but regular strength training helps keep the body as strong as possible. This can be accomplished by doing exercises that use light free weights, resistance bands or even your own body weight.
Being able to move your body through its full range of motion gets harder as you get older. That’s why it’s important to incorporate activities that improve flexibility into your exercise routine. Exercises focused on improving flexibility will help you maintain your mobility and help improve balance. Consider doing gentle stretches each day. Yoga or Tai Chi are good options, and many older adults enjoy attending classes for the social aspect of these activities.
One of the most common causes of serious injury in older adults is falls. Performing exercises that help improve your balance can minimize your risk of falling. Many of the exercises that improve flexibility, such as yoga and Tai Chi, also help improve your balance. Strengthening the muscles in your hips and legs also reduces your risk of falls.
Getting started with exercise
If you are new to exercise, have recently been injured or have physical limitations or health conditions, consider working with a physical therapist or personal trainer to get started. They can help guide you towards the type of exercises that will be best for you and will teach you how to do them safely and effectively. Group classes geared to older adults are another good option because they provide guidance, support, and camaraderie while you exercise. There are even exercise classes that can be done while sitting in a chair.
How Ethos Home Health Care can help
If you are recovering from an injury or illness, have physical limitations or a chronic illness that prevents you from being physically active, Ethos Home Health Care can help. Ethos provides in-home physical, occupational, and speech therapy, chronic illness management, skilled nursing, and more. These services can help you maintain or regain independence at home, improve mobility, range of motion, and strength, reduce the risk of falls, provide ways to safely perform activities of daily living, and more. To learn if home health care is right for you or a loved one, take our free online assessment. For additional questions, visit our website, fill out an online form, or call us at (701) 809-9319.
Published on October 20th, 2023
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Date Last Reviewed: March 15, 2023
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Andrew Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS