No matter what your age is, the best exercise for you is the one you enjoy doing the most. After all, if you don’t like your workout, how long are you going to stick with it?
For older adults, it’s important to keep in mind exactly what you want and need to get out of your workout. The top priority must be maintaining your quality of life outside the gym. In order to do that, you need to focus on workouts designed to help you build strength, stay mobile and improve balance. Below, experts share the best exercises for older adults. As always, it’s smart to check with your doctor before beginning a new fitness program, especially if you have a chronic condition.
Swimming –There’s a reason swimming is sometimes called the world’s perfect exercise. Getting in the pool is a great way to increase your cardiovascular fitness while also strengthening your muscles. It does all this while putting minimal stress on your bones and joints, which is a major plus for men and women who have arthritis or osteoporosis. A 2012 study in the Journal of Aging Research suggests that swimming can help older adults keep their minds as sharp as their bodies.
Yoga – Yoga helps build muscle strength, aerobic fitness, core stability, and total-body mobility, all of which are important to older adults. Yoga is low-impact and gentle on your body’s joints, but still weight-bearing. That is vital to strengthening your muscles and your bones.
Bodyweight Training – Simple bodyweight exercises such as chair squats, single leg stands, wall pushups, and stair climbing will do an excellent job at keeping your body strong and ready to tackle everyday activities.
Resistance Band Workouts – Bands can challenge your muscles in ways you might not be able to with equipment-free training. For instance, when it comes to strengthening your back and improving your posture, pulling motions are vital and resistance bands can provide that motion.
Walking – Even if you cannot find the time to perform a structured workout, you can usually find time to put one foot in front of the other. Research shows that people who increased their activity level to 10,000 steps per day were 46 percent less likely to die in the following 10 years compared to those who stayed sedentary.
Cycling – Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise and is ideal for those who want to increase their leg strength but can’t run or engage in other high-impact sports due to osteoporosis or joint issues. Cycling also improves cardiovascular health.