The fabled fountain of youth has inspired many a story, tall tale, and even a film or two. Though an actual magical fountain does not exist, there are many actions that can be taken to keeping you feeling younger well into your senior years.
The Real Fountain of Youth
One of the most important components of a long and healthy life is exercise. People often go to extraordinary odds to avoid good old-fashioned exercise, including fad diets, rarely used exercise equipment, and a laundry list of excuses. With millions of dollars dedicated to “scientific” meal plans, ads for the “easiest diet ever” and the creation of easy-to-use exercise equipment – it is hard to remember that the answer is almost painfully simple – get off the couch and move!
Exercise and Senior Citizens
Many do not realize that exercise is especially important for the elderly. Popular imagery of seniors sitting in rocking chairs and watching the world pass them by are not representative of what a healthy senior life should look like. Both misleading and creating the myth that seniors should be inactive – these images couldn’t be further from the truth. Seniors should be active, involved in any variety of physical activities. Obviously, you must take your health and specific medical conditions into consideration when you undertake any physical activity, but what is most important it to do something, every single day. Limitations in mobility and fear of suffering a devastating injury through a fall cause many seniors to become sedentary and inactive. However, by moving less frequently, seniors actually increase their chances of falling because they are less agile, have less flexibility, and have less balance.
Exercises for Seniors
Effective and life-lengthening exercise does not have to be complicated – it can be as easy as walking around your neighborhood, climbing the stairs more frequently, and lifting everyday objects in your house. There is no need to spend a fortune for a gym membership when you can get an equal workout from the convenience of your home. The following are exercises for seniors that will help keep you feeling healthy, young, and even help decrease your chance of medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and depression.
- Walking – this is exercise at its most basic, simple, and effective form. Walk for 10 – 30 minutes a day and see amazing health benefits.
- Yoga – non-stressful to the body, yoga is a great way to build strength, flexibility, and balance. An invigorating yet peaceful exercise, yoga can help decrease your risk of suffering a fall.
- Swimming – a fantastic workout for all ages, swimming is particularly beneficial for seniors. Swimming allows you to experience a full-body workout without the risk of falling and without painful impact to your joints. Though an ideal exercise for the elderly, never swim alone as this can be dangerous.
- Resistance Bands – strength training is crucial to health, and resistance bands are a great way for seniors to workout their muscles. Free weights can be dangerous, leading to straining muscles or injuries from a dropping weight. Resistance bands allow you to control the intensity of your exercise.
The four basic exercise groups that seniors should focus on are: cardiovascular, strength training, flexibility, and balance. Try and vary your exercises and keep it fun. Consistency, though hard to achieve, is the key. Take a little sip from that “fountain of youth” and make exercise a part of your daily life.