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At Any Stage of the Game, Exercise Pays Off!
Written By : SeniorsList 
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How Seniors Can Benefit from an Active Lifestyle

Being a senior doesn’t equal a sedentary life. So, you want to improve the activity level in your mother or father’s life? Perhaps you’ve recently retired from your 25 years as the vice president of your company and at last have the time to devote to a running or rock climbing group. How do you transition more exercise into your everyday routine? With the motivation to stay healthy, especially as you go through your golden years! That way, you can truly reap the benefits of being fit, agile and healthy that lives far beyond your expectations!

Why Exercise?

Exercise matters. Whether your doctor has warned you of the risk of high blood pressure in your family or if you’re suffering from depression, there is no better time to live an active, healthy lifestyle than right now. What motivates you to get some exercise? Do you enjoy the senior aerobics class at your neighborhood gym? Would you prefer to swim laps in your pool? How about talking a walk any time you feel stressed or depressed? Exercise is not only a wonderful daily routine to look forward to, but conquers negative feelings you can be faced with. If you’re experiencing fatigue, raising your activity level is the best solution! It can improve confidence, flexibility and illness. Connect with your mind and body while maintaining great health, and lower those medical bills in the process!

Do Something Active Every Day

Whether you’re in your 60’s or 80’s, insist on a little bit of exercise every day. This keeps the mind sharp, and the body sharper! Do you think fondly of your youth when you won championships in tennis, wrestling or track? Maybe you were the best basketball player on varsity team or you excelled at the butterfly. Swimming or sprinting, living an active life as a senior is more important than ever before. If you no longer have the desire to sprint down the track field, start getting into the habit of beginning each day with a brisk walk in your neighborhood. Jog if you can, stretch before and after and look forward to the many health benefits that will follow.

Don’t Buy Into the Hype

If you’ve never exercised on a regular basis, you may be hesitant to start now. There’s a common myth that those who are of a certain age shouldn’t walk, stretch or swim. They should save their energy, right? Wrong. Having an active – not sedentary – lifestyle as a senior only raises your opportunity for maintaining good health rather than injures it. If you doubt what exercise you are really capable of, start by taking a light walk every morning to the park and back. Get out of the house, watch the children playing on the playground and people watch. Exercising, however light it may be, creates endorphins in the body which ultimately, makes people happy. Want to increase your daily satisfaction? Exercise, no matter how late in the game you’re picking it up.

Adopt a Dog

If you’re able to exercise outside on a daily basis, adopting a dog can kill two birds with one stone. It will motivate you to give great care to your new beloved family member and give you the exercise you need to thrive in your golden years. There’s nothing more valuable than a sweet natured, lovable dog that is looking for a caring pet owner, and one who has the time to devote to it. Studies have shown that seniors who adopt dogs experience instant benefits of ownership. Do you have a widowed parent who could appreciate the opportunity to take care of someone else besides themselves? Could they use a higher quality of life, more social interaction or additional companionship in general? While each breed is best for a certain personality, many small lap dogs are perfect for the senior age group.

Gardening as Exercise

There are two main benefits of gardening. It creates a beautiful addition to the home and in the process, creates an opportunity for exercise. Whether you’re struggling with depression after your spouse passed away or are going through chemotherapy for breast cancer, a rose or vegetable garden can replace the apprehension you feel with some relief. Who couldn’t handle smelling fragrant roses after a difficult day, anyways? Simply taking time to get out of the house in exchange for sunlight and fresh air can do a body good, as can walking back and forth in admiration of those beautiful home grown tomatoes, sunflowers and exotic plants. Take out any pent up frustration by pruning and chopping, or simply enjoy the benefits your garden does to your mood. Studies have shown that horticulture therapy can help seniors feel in control, which makes their outlook on life positive and hopeful.

Tips for Senior Fitness

If you have never been the active type, it can be hard to stay motivated. It’s even harder if there isn’t a particular activity you enjoy doing, such as walking, swimming, or taking an aerobics class. Whether you are struggling with motivating yourself to become more active or know a senior who could use a boost of encouragement, consider these tips for a safe and active life:

  • First things first: make sure they are safe doing the level of exercise they’re interested in. It’s best to talk to a doctor before making any changes in exercise and/or diet.
  • Consider different places to exercise. Consider joining the gym, taking a senior yoga class (great for flexibility and a change in routine) or joining a senior walking group.
  • If your joints are troublesome, take a water aerobics class. It is a perfect option for knee and elbow stress, as well as being a real stress reducer.
  • Focus on deep breathing. We often breathe infrequently, or don’t breath in the right way at all. By breathing (especially through periods of physical pain) we can eliminate the stress we feel, improve the workings of vital organs and be better prepared for the day.

Being active isn’t just about going somewhere to talk a walk or perform a yoga pose. For many seniors, leaving the house poses a problem in which case, exercise can easily be performed in the privacy of their home. With unlimited exercise options for seniors, no one is left out regardless of their age, flexibility or skill level.

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