Fitness is an important aspect of healthy living, but as one grows older, pursuing an active lifestyle becomes harder. Health issues arise as a person ages, and there are often times when these conditions prevent many older adults from doing certain activities.
Today, more than 15% of adults in the United States do not work out during their free time. Without adequate exercise, adults are more prone to diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The benefits of exercise are undeniable, and so they should be practiced regardless of one’s age.
This guide is to help older adults and senior citizens find sports that are safe for them to try.
Five Fitness Activities That Are Safe for Seniors
These are some of the most physically accommodating sports for seniors that you can try. Most of these even have programs that are particularly geared for an older audience.
Golf may seem like a stationary activity that has little effect on fitness, but you would be surprised at how much it contributes to heart health. The sport does not only involve a significant amount of standing and walking. It also involves carrying around heavy equipment and swinging a golf club.
While it presents a good workout, it is also not physically strenuous. Golf is a no-contact sport that does not lend itself to the risk of injury. It is also versatile, as there are those who prefer to play golf indoors.
Older adults can safely play golf and improve their cardiovascular health. They can do it, too, in the company of friends, making it a good social activity.
There are older adults who do not see straightforward workouts as an appealing activity. They can instead turn to dancing to get their regular dose of fitness while still finding pleasure in what they are doing.
Seniors who prefer to dance have a wide range of styles to choose from. From ballroom dancing to Zumba, there are different genres and difficulty levels to suit each person’s skills.
The advantage of choosing to take dance classes is that there are many classes that are specifically catered towards older adults and senior citizens. Instructors have tailored these sessions’ routines for this particular age group to make sure that the experience is both enjoyable and productive for them.
For those who prefer to stay at home, dancing is also a good choice as dance videos are easily accessible online. It allows seniors to do their exercises on their own time and at their own pace.
Swimming is a full-body workout, engaging your muscles because of the need to work with the density of water. At the same time, the water helps carry a person’s body weight, putting less strain on bones and joints to perform their functions.
Those who suffer from conditions that affect bones and joints such as arthritis can turn to swimming for a full exercise that is friendly to their body while boosting flexibility. It is also an effective method of improving heart and lung health, due to how involved the whole body is during the whole activity.
4. Power Walking
Physical fitness for older adults does not need to be too complicated. At an age where running or jogging may prove to be difficult, walking is still a good option to stay active. Seniors gain numerous health benefits from the simple act of walking.
It is a low-maintenance activity that requires no equipment except for exercise attire and a trusty pair of rubber shoes. Seniors can also easily go walking with a pet or a family member, which can make the cardio workout a more pleasant experience.
Cycling can also be a senior’s choice of exercise because aside from being a form of physical activity, it is also a form of transportation. Older adults can comfortably run their errands while still getting a good workout out of it.
Riding a bike gives less strain on the joints, but still it offers a good cardio workout. Seniors can maintain their weight simply by cycling from one place to another.
Always Consult Your Doctor
Since our bodies become more vulnerable to certain risks as we age, it is still wisest to consult your doctor before pursuing a particular sport. Gauge the intensity of the exercise you want to do and don’t go beyond what your body is able to take. With the help of your physician, find out what needs the most work about your fitness and learn to pursue physical fitness safely and effectively.