Spring is a great time to get fit. The warmer weather makes it possible to enjoy outdoor activities. Seniors of all ability levels can find fun, healthy things to do when the sun shines. Exercise and an active lifestyle make a big difference in your mobility and quality of life.
Studies have found that people who engage in regular activity are less likely to develop common diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Exercise strengthens the immune system. It also improves mental health by releasing endorphins.
Older adults that suffer from insomnia can really benefit because physical activity has been linked to better sleep. There are many other benefits, including:
- Studies have also revealed that exercise benefits a person’s cognitive function and lowers the risk of dementia.
- Exercise increases strength, flexibility, and balance, lowering a person’s fall risk.
- Physical activities create new opportunities to socialize with others, preventing feelings of loneliness.
Adopting an active lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. It happens through small changes. Spring is a great time to start working on your daily habits. How can you get fit in an assisted living community this spring?
Take Short Walks in the Fresh Air
Walking is great exercise! Adding even a few extra steps to your day will take you closer to your active lifestyle goals. You can take advantage of the nice weather by moving your daily walk outdoors. Stroll around your community, through a garden, or to a nearby park.
The amount of walking and distance you cover will depend on your physical ability. You should always put safety first when exercising.
Start an Outdoor Hobby Like Gardening
Getting active during the spring season doesn’t have to be about boring basic exercises. You can also try an outdoor hobby. Gardening is a great choice. It’s engaging, healthy, and will give you a reason to go out in the fresh air. It can also get you moving as you dig, plant, and water your seeds.
There are many different varieties of gardening as well. You can grow beautiful flowers or tasty herbs and vegetables that can be used for meals. Choose something that matches your interests and your green thumb!
Always Stretch Before You Exercise
Always stretch before you exercise. This is vital to protect your body from injury and allow you to reach your fullest potential. Stretching improves posture and allows for a larger range of motion. It reduces soreness and muscle tension. You can also benefit from better circulation as well as improved coordination and muscle control.
Remember to stretch your major muscle groups for a minimum of 10 minutes at least two days per week. Take a deep breath before you begin and then slowly exhale as you stretch. You should hold stretches for 30 seconds for maximum benefit.
You should not bounce while stretching and only hold the position until you feel tension but not pain. You can also do a short warm up prior to stretching. This should include about five to 10 minutes of light activity, like a quick walk.
Join a Senior Workout Class
Workout classes are available for seniors. These are tailored to the needs of older adults. Your assisted living community may offer on-site sessions that are great for getting to know your neighbors.
If you don’t see something available right now or if you’re still dealing with social distancing restrictions, you can also use the internet. Online exercise classes for seniors allow you to join a group online in the safety and comfort of your home.
Use Sitting Exercises for Safety
Seniors who have trouble standing or who have limited mobility can still stay fit with exercise. Try sitting workouts instead. These only require your body and a sturdy chair. Sit down and try overhead reaches, knee extensions, shoulder blade squeezes, and chair push-ups. You can also march in place while seated to get the heart pumping!
Add a Nutritious Diet to Your Routine
Reaching your spring health goals should include both exercise and a nutritious diet. The food you eat is fuel for your body. Make sure you keep your energy levels as high as possible by eating good, clean foods. You can speak to your assisted living home about menu options or meet with a nutritionist to come up with an eating plan that meets your dietary needs.
Wear Comfortable Athletic Shoes
Make sure you have a good pair of athletic shoes to wear when you exercise. These should be comfortable, well-fitted, and provide adequate support. Uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes will make it much harder to keep going. You can also speak to a podiatrist for shoe recommendations,
Try a New Sport or Activity
Spring is a great time to learn something new! Try a sport or activity that you can do outdoors. Those without mobility limitations could try basketball, bocce ball, horseshoes, or tennis.
Other sports are modified to accommodate player needs like wheelchair bowling. You can gather friends and come up with your own fun sport, like tossing a beach ball around.
Remember to Stay Hydrated
Pay attention to your water intake while you exercise. Seniors are advised to consume six to 12 ounces of water every 10 to 15 minutes while exercising outdoors. You should drink two to three cups more when you are done to replace liquids that were lost while playing a sport or working out.
The symptoms of dehydration can appear after you have stopped exercising, so make sure you are giving your body enough water to stay healthy.
Talk to Your Doctor First
Every person has different medical needs. You should always speak to your doctor before making any changes to your daily routine. Let them know that you want to become more active and discuss your plans. They can advise you on whether there are any concerns related to your health or provide advice and recommendations to help you along the way.
At San Tan Valley Assisted Living, we care about the health and happiness of our residents. Check back for more tips, information for seniors. You can also visit our website to find out how we can help you make the most of your Golden Years!