Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors

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Keeping fit is essential as you age. Keeping active reduces the impact of joint pain caused by arthritis, lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your cardiovascular system against damage and disease and reduces the risk of falls.

Check with your doctor

If you aren’t used to including exercise in your lifestyle, or if you have had a period of convalescence after an illness or injury it’s best to have a word with your GP about what sort of exercises would be good or if there are any to avoid. Once they’re happy you should start slowly and build up slowly to avoid injuries.

Rope in a friend

Exercise is always more fun with two (or more) but if the idea of a class makes you think of Mr Motivator then there are plenty of exercises you can share in the comfort of your own home. If you can’t get a friend to join in perhaps your home help might be game!

Dig for victory

Gardening is good strengthening exercise. Digging trenches for spuds might be best left to a fitter family member but hoeing, weeding and gently walking around the garden deadheading are all good activities to keep you active.

Did you know?

Pushing a lawnmower counts as aerobic exercise – essential for cardiovascular health!

In the swim

Swimming is a great activity as the water takes your weight meaning you are far less likely to injure yourself. If you aren’t a confident swimmer then ask about special senior swim sessions where the pace will be slower. If you have in home care they may even be able to accompany you for free as a carer, to assist you getting changed and getting in and out of the pool.

Did you know?

Even just walking up and down in the shallow end can improve your balance, co-ordination and muscle tone whilst reducing your risk of injuries.

Supermarket Sweep

A daily walk to the shops to get some milk and a nice treat for lunch may not sound like much but added up across the whole of the week you can easily reach the NHS’s recommended 150 minutes of activity a week. Plus carrying your shopping home counts as a strength exercise – but don’t overdo it – if you’re finding it a strain consider using a shopping trolley.

Did you know?

Getting out of the house each day can reduce your risk of depression.

Keeping Strong

Good muscle tone is essential to preventing falls – which are a major cause of hospital admissions in the over 65s and can lead to loss of independence. Exercises such as yoga and Pilates can be practised with minimal equipment and there are variations of the major positions that can be done in a chair if getting down onto the floor is too difficult.

Did you know?

Gladys Morris was 90 and still teaching 4 yoga classes a week when she was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest yoga teacher.