For some, exercise isn’t an activity that is enjoyable at age 25, much less at age 55. But the older you become, the more crucial proper exercise can become to your health. You don’t have to run a marathon, climb Mount Fuji or swim the English Channel in order to stay fit — all it takes is staying active and taking the time to perform light exercise.
For many seniors, one of the greatest concerns about exercising is the strain that it puts on the body. After age 55 (and sometimes before), the body begins to slow down and subjecting the body to more than just the customary aches and pains can prove too much for some. While exercising can certainly feel more difficult after 55, it doesn’t have to be. Instead of spending hours at the gym, you can gain a healthy amount of exercise by simply staying active.
Here are a few low-strain exercises and activities that can help you maintain a healthy amount of activity.
Take a walk — It seems so simple, but it can be very effective. Grab a partner (a friend or spouse), and walk around your neighborhood for 30 to 45 minutes a few times a week. It can be a great time to enjoy nature, socialize or have a moment to yourself. Best of all? It’s free.
Take the plunge — Swimming is also a great way to exercise, and can be easier on the bones. Swimming can be done at a number of different paces, and at all different levels. If you’re an experienced swimmer, consider joining a local pool and swimming a few laps (most pools have at least one lane dedicated to lap swimming). Less experienced? Some pools offer swim classes or swim aerobics classes for seniors — both are great ways to keep you moving, but will ensure that you don’t venture too far into the deep end.
Do your chores —For those who need a little extra motivation to do housework or yardwork, exercise can be an excellent added benefit. Regardless of whether you’re washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, sweeping the floor or plucking weeds from your garden, staying on your feet and performing even the lightest physical activity can be beneficial. Plus, you’ll be making your home better at the same time.
Hit the links … or the court — Two of the most popular and time-honored methods of senior fitness are golf and tennis. While these two sports aren’t as fast paced as football or basketball, they both require a great deal of cardio and movement. Moreover, they are a great way to get outside, make friends, and engage in some friendly competition.