Keeping fit and healthy is critical if you want to enjoy your golden years. Being active can help to minimise all sorts of aches and pains. It can reduce swelling in joints (and hence reduce the associated pain), it can also reduce your blood pressure, strengthens your heart and lungs and, importantly, being fit can lessen the risk of falls, which are a serious health problem for the elderly, according to research by The Live-in Care Hub.
Take Professional Advice
If you are recovering from an injury or illness or if you have a serious health condition, check with your doctor or healthcare professional first about the types of exercise you can do. That said there are almost always some types of exercise that you can do to avoid further health problems.
Exercise With Others
It is easier to be motivated to exercise when you do it with other people or even just one friend or family member. There’s a good reason why exercise classes are so popular – they provide that extra bit of motivation so many of us need whatever our age. For older people exercise classes can also add a social element to the exercise – getting out and meeting new people or old friends. If you live alone but have home care services then ask if the carer can take you along to a class if you are uncertain about going on your own – what have you got to lose?
Don’t Ignore The Garden
Gardening is also good exercise – buy a folding chair or high kneeler if you find it difficult to bend down or kneel for any length of time. There are lots of useful tools for older people to help them continue to enjoy gardening for as long as possible and benefit from the exercise it gives them. Even just walking around the garden pulling up stray weeds is more exercise than sitting inside.
The Health Benefits of Water
Swimming is well known as a great all-round activity for improving general fitness levels but especially for older people it is an activity where you are less likely to injure yourself than some other activities. The water can support your weight making exercise through swimming a real pleasure. Some swimming pools have special sessions for people over 65 where you won’t be worried about holding up those younger folk in the swimming lanes.
If you are not yet fit enough to swim lengths you could just try walking in the shallow end. This can help improve your fitness and at the same time help with your balance and co-ordination – both of which can reduce the risk of falls.
Walk to the shops
Don’t under-estimate how much exercise merely walking to the shops every day can provide. Instead of stocking up once a week pop out each day for some fresh produce, milk, bread or just a newspaper. Doing this every day will soon add up and contribute to a fitter lifestyle.
Fitness of the mind
Walking to the shops, bank or post office each day (or as often as possible) is not just good for your body but also your mind. Walking every day (especially if you pass some green spaces) can help lower the risk of depression.