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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Exercise and Old Age: What Are the Best Exercises for the Elderly?

Our bodies change a lot as we age. More often, body functions deteriorate, or even fail, with age. However, this condition is not an excuse to not continue exercising. In fact, in many cases, exercise in advanced age still offer a lot of health benefits. While deterioration of body function is inevitable, proper exercise slows down the aging process. It also improves muscle tone and strengthens the bones and joints, making them more resistant to falls, which are the common causes of fractures in the elderly.

It is never too late to start an exercise routine. However, attempting to start an exercise program with the elderly must entail more care. An elderly person must see a doctor and consult with him regarding the pros and cons of exercise. There may be some exercises that are contraindicated for the elderly, and some people cannot be able to exercise at all.

Nevertheless, when advised to exercise, here are some safe examples for the elderly:

Walk around the park or around the village with your dog. You can also try walking with your partner or grandchildren. Walking is a good aerobic exercise, and it strengthens the heart and lungs. Just make sure you walk according to your pace and rest when you are tired.

Do household chores. Household chores could constitute moderate physical activity. This ensures that you do not become sedentary or become an easy target for illnesses.

Indulge in dancing. Dancing is a physical activity that is safe in a lot of conditions, and is also good aerobic exercise. Try to organize dances with fellow elderly people and see your health improve.

Stretch those body parts! Stretching activities are a good way to strengthen those joints and bones. Just make sure you maintain proper form in order to minimize injuries.

You can also try yoga and Tai Chi. These exercises emphasize breathing and slow, low-impact motions. These could help you become healthy even if you have not-so-good joints.

Swim. Water reduces impact on the body while still giving you a good aerobic workout. Try swimming twice a week if your schedule and health permit. Just make sure you dry yourself with a towel as soon as you get out of the water to protect yourself from colds.

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