The human body normally undergoes a number of changes as it ages. For instance, the body starts to produce less testosterone. Since this is a steroid hormone responsible for muscle growth, the body gets weaker and weaker with time. People who are over 65 years old are usually less active and may start to lose both their balance and flexibility in addition to reduced strength. This means they may start to become dependent on other people.
Fortunately, there is a way for elderly people to improve their fitness, and remain independent in every aspect of life for a long time. That is to exercise on a regular basis.
Exercises for the Elderly
It is important to note that older folks are not seeking bulging muscles or to bench hundreds of pounds of weights at the gym. They just want to maintain their muscle mass, improve their flexibility and endurance as well as maintain their balance. The exercises they perform, therefore, may not necessarily be high intensity. The CDC recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of exercises per week for people who are over 65 years old. The following are some great exercises for the elderly:
This can be done on a stationary bike at home or at the gym, or with a normal bicycle. The exercise should be done at least twice a week for a minimum of half an hour. While cycling at a slow to moderate pace throughout the workout session is beneficial, the best results can be obtained when periods of low-intensity cycling are alternated with periods of moderate to high-intensity cycling. The benefits are; improved muscle strength, improved endurance, better flexibility, and improved body balance. The elderly can also burn calories and lose weight through cycling.
There is a common saying that movement is life; if you stop moving, you die. This statement holds true, especially when it comes to senior citizens. When you stay in bed for more than 12 hours, sit on the couch for another 12 hours and repeat the same cycle day after day, the flexibility of your joints will reduce. Furthermore, you will also lose your balance. This means that you will become dependent on other people when you want to stand up, get out of bed or go to the bathroom. To ensure you live a healthy life, it is important you go for 15-minute walks at least twice a day; in the morning and in the afternoon. This will help to maintain your balance and improve the flexibility of your joints. These walks can also improve your strength.
3. Swimming and Zumba
Swimming is a low-intensity exercise with lots of benefits. Ideally, you should go swimming at least twice a week. If you are tired of swimming, you may want to try Zumba. These exercises are great for your strength, balance, and flexibility.
The elderly should avoid high-intensity exercises because their cells and tissues do not regenerate as fast as they used to. Light to moderate intensity exercises for a maximum of 30 minutes daily is enough to ensure the elderly live a healthy life.