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Senior Fitness Trends: Tailoring Workouts For Mature Bodies

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Image of a senior couple exercising outdoors

Making the decision to stay fit and active as we age is critical to long-term health and well-being. Studies have shown that regular exercise can dramatically improve quality of life and even extend it.

But as bodies get older, traditional workouts may be too intense or dangerous for them. That’s why many seniors have turned to tailored workouts that meet their needs and abilities.

Walking for Exercise

Walking is one of the best exercises for seniors of all ages and abilities. It offers aerobic exercise while minimizing the impact on your joints as compared to running. It also has the added benefit of helping seniors stay socially connected as it can be done with a friend or family member.

For seniors looking for variety, try changing up the terrain by walking through different neighborhoods or parks. Or add weights or other exercise equipment for more of a challenge.

Strength and Resistance Training

Strength and resistance training is an important part of a senior fitness routine as it helps maintain muscle mass, bone density and joint flexibility. For seniors who might struggle with lifting weights, equipment such as exercise bands or elastic tubes can be used to provide resistance.

Bodyweight exercises, such as squats, push-ups, lunges and planks are also excellent ways to build strength. Begin with fewer repetitions and lighter resistance, and increase reps and resistance as your body becomes used to the movement.

Flexibility and Balance Training

Increasing flexibility and improving balance is essential for seniors, as muscles and joints become weaker and balance issues become more common. Yoga, tai chi and Pilates are great activities for improving both flexibility and balance. These activities can also be modified for all fitness levels.

Stretching after each workout session is also essential to help your body recover and prepare for future workouts.

Other Activities

There are plenty of other activities that seniors can take part in to stay active. Swimming and cycling are two great ways to stay active, and can provide a full body workout without putting too much strain on the body.

Gardening is another great way for seniors to stay active. It combines physical activity and relaxation while providing the bonus of fresh produce.

Safety Considerations

No matter what kind of activities you choose to do, safety should be your top priority. Always warm up before any physical activity, and make sure to stretch afterwards. Drink plenty of water and don’t overexert yourself. If you are feeling any pain or discomfort during workouts, stop immediately and consult your doctor.

If you’re just starting out with an exercise program, discuss it with your doctor first to make sure you are healthy enough to do so.

Conclusion

Staying active as we age is key to maintaining good health and well-being. But as seniors, it’s important to find activities that are tailored to your needs and abilities. Walking, strength and resistance training, flexibility and balance training, and other activities such as swimming, cycling and gardening are all great options for maintaining fitness as you age.

Always remember to keep safety in mind and work with your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough to exercise.

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