Regular exercise is extremely important for older adults. No matter what your age, health or fitness level, you can benefit from exercise and moving more. It can help maintain health, boost energy, and improve confidence. Exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older. There are 4 main types of exercises that will help you in healthy aging:
Strength Exercises: These exercises build muscle and increase your metabolism. They can help you keep your weight and blood sugar in check. Strength training can help prevent loss of bone mass and improve balance as well, which can help prevent the risk of falling. These types of exercises will also help seniors stay independent and make daily activities easier.
Types of strength exercises include using weight or external resistance from body weight, machines, or elastic bands to perform repetitive motion that builds muscle. If you don’t have free weights or access to a gym try using soup cans as weights.
Cardio/Endurance Exercises: These exercises increase your heart rate and breathing for extended periods of time. They can help lessen fatigue and shortness of breath and can improve endurance in daily activities such as house cleaning or errands.
Types of cardio exercises include walking, jogging, swimming, biking, climbing stairs, hiking, rowing, tennis, and dancing. Try starting with as little as 5 minutes of cardio activities a day and gradually build up your endurance.
Stretching/Flexibility Exercises: These exercises give you more freedom of movement and help you stay limber for ordinary physical activities like tying shoes, shampooing your hair, and playing with grandchildren.
Types of flexibility exercises include stationary stretches or stretches while moving or bouncing. Practice mindful breathing and slowly stretching, bending, and twisting. Yoga is a great form of exercise that helps to improve flexibility.
Balance Exercises: These exercises can help build leg muscles which can help prevent falls. There are about 300,000 admissions to U.S. hospitals each year for broken hips. Balance exercises can help you stay independent by avoiding disabilities that could result from falling.
Types of balance exercises improve posture and quality of walking. Examples of exercises that can help balance are yoga, Tai Chi, and any posture exercises.
Overall I recommend trying one of these top rated exercises for seniors that will help in one or more of these 4 exercise categories: