Staying healthy as you get older isn’t always easy. It takes effort to keep both the body and mind healthy for seniors. It takes a combination of physical and mental exercise, but committing to a healthy, active lifestyle can help reduce your risks of chronic conditions and cognitive decline.
The Best Physical Exercises For Seniors
The benefits of active senior living include more energy, reduced falling risks, increased independence, and improved brain function. These are some of the most effective exercises seniors can use to stay healthy.
One of the biggest obstacles to exercise seniors experience is arthritis and joint pain. These conditions can make exercise simply too painful.
Thanks to the buoyancy of water, water aerobics reduces the stress put on joints, while the resistance of water recreates the effect of weights for strength training. Exercising in the water makes it so much easier to enjoy the health benefits of an active lifestyle.
The name of the game with senior exercises is minimizing impact while still getting exercise that will improve muscle strength, flexibility, and mobility. Like water aerobics, chair yoga is low-impact and puts less stress on muscles and joints while still giving you a chance to stretch out.
Chair yoga is also an exercise with mental health spinoff benefits. Seniors who practiced chair yoga can improve the quality of their sleep and sense of well-being.
The number one benefit of tai chi for seniors is preventing falls and improving balance, but it can also improve the strength of your leg muscles, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. Tai chi is a gentle form of exercise that’s very accessible for seniors.
As much as it’s important to keep your body fit and active to reduce your risks of health conditions or mitigate their symptoms, brain exercises are also an integral part of healthy living for older adults. Consistent brain training can boost your memory, slow symptoms of memory loss, reduce cognitive decline, and reduce the risk of dementia.
But what brain exercises work best? You may be best served by forgetting about computer games and apps that promote themselves as brain training for seniors and instead focusing on real-world activities that don’t involve a screen.
Sudoku And Crosswords
These two games commonly found in the newspaper target the numbers and language centers of your brain respectively, and completing them on a daily basis is a great way to get those neurons firing.
Learn A Musical Instrument
One of the most effective exercises you can put your brain through is learning something complex over a long period of time, which makes a musical instrument the perfect candidate. There are many levels of progress with a musical instrument, with no real ceiling, so there’s always something new to learn.
If arthritis or joint pain makes playing an instrument too much of a challenge, consider trying your hand at a new language!
Change Your Routine
You don’t have to commit to something big like learning a new language or musical instrument to flex your brain muscles. Something as simple as changing the route you take to drive home can help. You can also do tasks like drawing a map from memory of the new route when you get home.
Healthy living combines both physical and mental exercises. Stay fit and stay sharp well into your older years.