Fitness Pick-Me-Ups for Seniors: 5 Simple Exercises to Keep Aging Adults in Shape
by Susie Yakowicz
Exercising in the senior years has many proven benefits, but daily workouts can be hard on an aging body. Joints, bones, and energy weaken over time, making it more difficult to engage in long bouts of physical activity as you age. Fortunately, you can keep your senior body toned and fit without a full workout. Try these fitness pick-me-ups for seniors to stay in shape, and make simple exercises a habit you can do every day for your health–no matter what your age.
Pose Like a Yogi
A short set of poses, balances, and breathing exercises can go a long way in improving your health and keeping you in shape during the senior years. They’re also a cinch to do. Aim for a five-minute yoga break that includes simple poses, like cat or cow, downward-facing dog, or chair pose. Add balance movements, such as knee lifts or lunges. Breathe slowly and deeply to improve circulation, increase energy, and strengthen muscles.
March in Place
No time for a walk? No sweat. Marching in place is a healthy alternative that can give you a similar fitness boost. Not only does marching strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles, you’ll keep your waistline in check while doing something easy, fun, and quick. You can march in the comfort of your living room, too, while watching television or listening to music. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes when you march to protect your feet and joints from the impact.
Climb the Stairs
Elevators are necessary sometimes, but if there are stairs available for going up or down floors, consider using them. Most stairs include railings for safe maneuvering, so be sure to hold on tight. Then climb to your heart’s content–and health. Using stairs has many health perks, from lowering blood pressure to increasing lung function to toning muscles. For a simple and convenient way to stay fit, climb up and down stairs in your home for brief periods.
Hula hooping can burn as many calories as a brisk walk and you don’t have to do much of it to reap rewards. Not only that, hula hooping is a low-impact exercise that will build strength without hurting your bones or joints. Try traditional waist hooping or make up your own exercise. Circle the hoop around your body, in front of or behind you, or around your arms. A short interlude of hula hooping will take you back to your youth and keep you in shape.
Take a Break from the Chair
It’s common for seniors to spend a lot of time sitting down. But do your health a favor and take a break from those seated sessions to move around. Five minutes of walking the hallways, digging in the garden, or doing a household chore translates to simple exercise and a much-needed break from the chair. Be conscious of how much sitting time you do, then make the effort to get up and move for the sake of your mind and body. Don’t let the senior years diminish your fitness level. Even if you can’t exercise for long periods of time, there’s plenty you can do in short spurts to stay in shape and keep your body looking and feeling great.