Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they are depleted. The good news is that we are never too old to get moving and improve our health. As we grow older, an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever to our health. Apart from preventing memory loss and cognitive decline, moving can help boost your energy, protect your heart, maintain your independence and manage symptoms of illness, pain as well as your weight.
Every day that we are alive means that we are one day older – we cannot stop the aging process. But, we can slow down its effects and ward off potential health threats by adopting and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. From a certain age, human performance declines, therefore, fitness should focus more on functionality – being able to perform our daily activities safely and independently without pain or undue fatigue.
In our efforts to ensure a HEALTHY COMMUNITY and help our seniors have a better quality of life as they enjoy their retirement, here are a few guidelines that can go along way.
Nothing gives away your age and state of mind better than your posture. Flexibility and muscular strength greatly affect this important fitness component. Always finish your swim, jog, walk, golf or whatever exercise or sport you engage with a good stretch. Pay more attention to the areas that did the most work and perform the stretches when your muscles are warmed up to avoid injuries, enhance mobility and better range of motion around the joints. Also, don’t forget the most crucial lower back and pelvic stretch – due to carrying the body weight and walking.
Seniors are prone to falls due to poor balance and coordination. Try this exercise to improve balance.
Stand next to a chair and balance your body on each leg for a minute.
Maintain your center over your ankles, hold onto the chair to prevent falling.
Knee marching; use proper footwear, land softly, stand next to a chair, doesn’t have to be high knee ups. This caters for leg muscle weakness.
Body circles; Put your hands on your waist, keep knees and hips straight, stay put for as long as you can, if you begin to feel dizzy… Stop!! And sit for a while.
Strength training will greatly slow down muscle atrophy. Physical exercise will ensure that you have functional capability well below your chronological age. Benefits of resistance or weight training include-
Arthritis – reduce pain and stiffness
Diabetes – improve glycerin control
Osteoporosis – build bone density and reduce the risk of falls
Heart disease – improves the lipid profile, therefore, reducing cardiovascular risk
Obesity – weight management via improved metabolism
Back pain – strengthens back and muscles.
Include the use of dumbbells, bodyweight, resistance bands, and kettle-bells. For women, it’s advisable to use not more than 5 pounds, for men preferably 8 pounds.
Use this to do:- wall push-ups, seated squats, bicep curls.
ENDURANCE AND AEROBIC TRAINING
Keeping in mind that both age and training volume plays a significant role in cardiac fitness and blood pressure changes. Look out for light aerobic exercises where usage of Oxygen is optimal to maximize the proper working of your body. We recommend morning jogs, evening walks, dancing, water aerobics ( better in a group and with an instructor), swimming, slow jumping jacks, rowing, cycling, treadmill, stationary bike or cross-trainer.
Regular exercise, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep, stress management are central to a good wellness plan. Flexibility, reactivity, mobility, balance, strength, agility, bone mass, coordination, and endurance on the other hand decline as we age. No one wants to be so old and creaky that they can cough, sneeze and pee all at the same time. DO YOU?
It is never too late to start exercise and getting to 50 should not be the time to retire and go sit on your rocking chair or porch. Don’t let the golden years fade away…do something!
Get in touch with us on +254720297429 if you need our help or want to enroll for our senior fitness classes at FEEL FITNESS CENTER. Meanwhile…
- Get medical clearance before engaging in any form of exercise
- Support activity levels with the right diet
- Consider health concerns and listen to your body
- Start slow, build up steadily
- Get a few others in your location and start off, a trainer would be a great idea.