Senior Fitness

By Bill Case | In Exercise, Fitness, Gym | on April 12, 2013

Staying fit and mobile plays a large role in senior health. It’s not always easy to maintain fitness levels as we age. Naturally, our bodies change, but we don’t want them becoming immobile! Here are some tips to make your senior years more enjoyable and fit.

As much as possible, continue doing your daily living tasks. Taking a bath, even if it’s just a sponge bath, gives your arms a mini-workout. You’re bending and keeping flexible, which is vital for proper joint health.

Cooking involves peeling vegetables, some walking, bending to reach pots and pans. Don’t fret that you may not be able to do all grocery shopping by yourself. As long as you can continue cooking at home, this allows more chance for movement.

So, we’re continuing our daily tasks, and now it’s time to consider some specific exercise.

Golfing provides fun, a chance for walking, bending, and maintaining flexibility. Even miniature golf allows for some of these tasks, so join the grandkids if you can.

Perhaps getting out to a golf course isn’t possible for you right now. Buy one of those mini-putting greens you can use indoors. Even these will improve your ability to move more freely.

Several times a day, make it a point to stop and work on a flexibility exercise. For instance, stretch your legs while sitting in the recliner. Do five or six mini leg lifts or stretch your arms over your head and hold them there for a count of ten. All activity, even simple ones, increases your ability to move freely and with less pain.

Check with your doctor about the exercises he or she suggests. You may be asked to visit a physical therapist who will work with you on improving your fitness. Therapists have some fun ideas on staying fitter – simple games you can play in your home with your grandkids, like batting a balloon back and forth with a plastic racket. You’ll find yourself enjoying the exercise even more with your children around!

By making a simple choice each day of staying mobile as much as possible, you increase your chances of living a more independent life.

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-Physical Therapist 32 yrs. with 19 years in private practice -University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston,TX. - Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy- 1982 -Post graduate Sports Physical Therapy Specialist --1987 -Inventor: Diagonal Rotary Patterning Machine, Patent 1988 -Lecture: on orthopedic injuries-nationally and internationally -Co-author: for SPORTS PHYSICAL THERAPY -Writer: for The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Self, Men's Health, Fitness and Prevention magazines

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6 Comments to "Senior Fitness"

  • bonyi says:

    October 29, 2013 at 11:57 am -

    Great tips. Many seniors on their own stop some of these home chores you just mention for fear of not being able to. But from this write up, they shouldn’t be afraid instead they should continue with their chores.

  • Celeste says:

    November 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm -

    We all know the saying “if you don’t move it, you lose it”, and this is so true. Fitness is very important in any age and especially for seniors. Growing up I don’t think many people were taught that you can still be in shape in your golden years. I am learning so much as I get older and always tell that to my family members. Do whatever that gets you moving!

  • Sandro says:

    January 17, 2014 at 6:51 am -

    Cooking is sure a good way to get some movement! Every time my mother cooks it takes her about 2 hours to finish everything and in this time she continually moves around. She gets a lot of fitness this way 😉 And while I like to help her out in the kitchen when I’m around, I usually get brushed aside because I’m in her way. She prefers doing almost everything solo because I seem to “slow her down” as she points out.

  • GemmaRowlands says:

    July 29, 2015 at 5:33 pm -

    Yes, your body can change as you get older, but this is no reason that you shouldn’t still be able to exercise. You might find that over time you have to change the type of exercise that you do, but you should still find that you are able to do plenty of things that are within your own ability. One of the things that I think is important is that you don’t let yourself become inactive, as this is the main way that people end up losing their ability to exercise. You need to keep your muscle tone, and the only way to do that is to exercise little and often – whatever you can manage, really!

  • Diane says:

    August 7, 2015 at 9:29 pm -

    These are nice and easy ways to maintain some movement and flexibility. I’ve found it helpful to talk about maintaining independence when discussing the topic of healthy eating and exercise with not only the elderly, but those with chronic health issues, as well. Maintaining our independence is often on our minds, and no one wants to have to depend on others for our basic needs, so when it’s couched in those terms, people are often receptive.

  • Celerian says:

    October 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm -

    Remember to join a fitness group! Make more friends in fitness

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