You may struggle to find proper exercise for seniors over 75, especially if you have aches, pains, injuries, or chronic health conditions. However, staying active is vital for maintaining physical and mental health. GoGoGrandparent understands the importance of active aging to help seniors maintain their health, independence, and autonomy. That’s why we compiled these 9 tips for staying active as you age. Read on to learn more about exercise and aging.
1. Find an active aging activity that you enjoy.
Active aging is less about the activity itself and more about staying active overall. So, do exercise that makes you happy! If you choose exciting exercises, you’re more likely to stick to and see success with an active aging plan.
Some fun ideas that can keep you active include:
- Walking is a moderately low-impact exercise that gets the heart pumping.
- Swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints, but it’s a full-body workout that burns calories and builds muscle.
- Water aerobics is another excellent way to make use of your local pool with little risk of injury.
- Tai Chi combines slow, fluid movements with deep breathing to help strengthen the body while calming the mind.
- Dance class (any kind of dance!) will get your heart pumping and your face smiling.
- Yoga helps improve flexibility, balance, and strength. There are many different ways to practice yoga – from chair yoga at home to a class at a local yoga studio.
- Resistance band training effectively strengthens your muscles and gets your heart rate going without intense cardio or weightlifting.
- An in-home personal trainer, found through GoGoGrandparent’s Home Services, is a great way to have a customized exercise and aging plan. A trainer will direct you to the best activities for your physical needs and preferences, help you set goals, and teach you how to reduce your risk of injury.
2. Start slow.
You don’t run a marathon your first day running. Regardless of the exercise you’re trying to start, don’t push yourself too hard from the get-go. Overdoing it too soon can lead to injury and worsening pain.
Here are some ideas to get started with exercise for seniors over 75:
- Go for a walk outside. Start with a five-minute walk. After a few days, add another five minutes, then ten. Pick up the speed a little bit each day. Within a month or two, you’ll be cruising around the block in no time.
- Try light stretching. You don’t need to instantly try to do a back bend to be flexible. Start by reaching down as far as you can to touch your toes. Every day, you’ll get closer and closer to your toes. Stretch your neck side to side, move your arms in a circle, and do heel raises. These active aging exercises can keep your body nimble while getting your heart pumping.
- Check out chair yoga. Chair yoga is the best exercise for seniors over 75 because it incorporates strength, balance, and flexibility training, but you have the support of a chair. Check out our free Chair Yoga masterclass on YouTube.
- Start small and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as your body gets stronger.
3. Set realistic, achievable goals.
Setting goals can help you stay on track and meet your fitness goals. But don’t set lofty, unachievable goals, or you might end up neglecting your active aging plan altogether. Keep your goals simple and achievable, like increasing your daily steps by 500 or adding 5 more minutes of activity to your weekly routine. As you meet these goals, you can keep upping the ante to challenge yourself further.
4. Make it social.
If you don’t feel motivated, try exercising with friends. One of the key motivators to exercise for seniors over 75 is the social aspect. Having a workout buddy will keep you accountable for your active aging goals while having fun and building your relationships. You can also make new friends by partaking in a local walking group, joining a yoga studio, or attending classes at your independent living center or assisted living facility.
5. Move more throughout the day.
Active aging isn’t just about setting aside specific “workout time.” Part of exercise and aging is simply moving around more and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine. Here are some ideas to move throughout the day:
- Take a quick walk after lunch.
- Stretch while watching TV.
- Take up gardening. (Gardening can boost your heart rate and is a low-impact exercise for seniors over 75.)
- Ask your GoGoRides driver to drop you a block from your destination, so you can walk a bit.
- Play with your pet.
- Walk around while chatting on the phone.
- Take a shopping trip.
6. Stay hydrated.
Water helps improve your exercise and aging. Research shows that poor hydration is linked to early aging and chronic diseases. Moreover, if you’re starting to exercise more, you’ll need to increase your hydration intake to prevent fatigue, reduce muscle soreness, and help you reach your goals. Chat with your doctor about the right amount of water for you, but a good rule of thumb is 1 oz of water per pound of body weight or eight to ten 8oz glasses per day.
7. Buy proper equipment.
Make sure you invest in high-quality equipment (if relevant to your chosen exercise). You want footwear that fits well and has good support, which will help prevent injury with exercise for seniors over 75. If purchasing resistance bands, yoga mats, or other equipment, buy quality equipment that keeps you comfortable and safe from injury.
8. Consult your doctor.
Before you start any new exercise, chat with your doctor to ensure it’s the right option for your active aging plan.
9. Have fun!
Staying active should be fun, not a chore. If you’re not enjoying your current exercise for seniors over 75, try different activities until you find something you love.
GoGoGrandparent wants to help you stay active! Our Rides service can take you to local yoga studios, gyms, and fitness classes, so you can stay social with your active aging plan. You can also reach out to our Home Services operator to see if we can help you find a local personal trainer to help customize your exercise and aging plan. Also, check out our Youtube channel for free strength training, yoga classes, and more!
Register with GoGoGrandparent now as a part of your active aging regimen.