The American Medical Association found that after seniors incorporated physical activities into their lives for a six month period, they showed some overall improvement with memory issues and cognitive processing. Lakefront communities like Lake Forest, Highland Park, Glencoe and Wilmette all offer seniors opportunities to take advantage when the weather is nice by going outside for exercise and fresh air. It is very important for seniors to integrate exercise into their lives to improve not only their physical health, but some experts believe that it can also help with cognition as well.
Every senior’s physical condition is different, so it is important to always consult with their doctors before adding any new exercise routines. While exercise is important, senior safety comes first.
If the physician has determined that it is safe and beneficial to incorporate exercise into the senior’s daily routine, the next step would be determining where to start. If a senior is mobile, walking outside is the simplest option for exercise. With the help of family members or caregivers, seniors can outside enjoy beautiful scenery while getting in their exercise. Taking in the summer air and looking at their surroundings can make the senior forget they are doing exercise in the first place.
Professional trainers at local gyms can provide special techniques tailored for seniors. They can provide guidance and support during the exercises to ensure that seniors are performing the exercises safely and can give seniors one-on-one attention. Gyms also offer senior-specific classes, allowing seniors to do physical activities with other seniors. Group classes provide the elderly with the opportunity to socialize while doing an activity that is good for their health. Examples of senior group exercises include walking club, senior yoga, water aerobics, tai chi and the SilverSneakers program.
Water aerobics is a great exercise option for seniors, providing low impact workouts that are gentle on an individual’s joints. It is also a great type of fitness for people with physical impairments. The water resistance provides a challenging cardiovascular workout and can improve a senior’s strength over time. Water fitness decreases the amount of strain on a person’s body, and often times moving around in the pool does not seem like exercise.
Another great option for seniors is tai chi, which helps people enhance core strength and balance. The gentle motions involved in tai chi are done in a continuous fashion to ensure that the body is in constant motion. There are various styles of tai chi, so seniors should explore the style of tai chi that focuses on health maintenance, which focuses on improving flexibility, and some experts believe it can have a positive impact on arthritis, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, sleep problems and more.
It is important for all seniors who are physically able to incorporate exercise into their daily lives to do so. Small amounts of exercise may seem insignificant, but they can have a big impact on a senior’s overall health.