It will come as no surprise to you that many seniors become less active as they age. As we age, physiological changes occur throughout our body. Knees, shoulders, and other joints get sore more quickly, and our legs and backs can’t take extended periods of exercise like they used to. These aches and pains, not to mention the decreased stamina, can drive seniors to give up on the physical activities that they once loved.
However, it is essential for seniors to find ways to stay active. Staying active can reduce the risk of a multitude of diseases, help to maintain healthy bones and muscles, and improve vital signs, such as blood pressure. With as little as 30 minutes of physical activity a day, an older person can make give themselves a boost that may make there golden years much more comfortable.
It’s important to take your age, current level of activity, and physical limitations into consideration, including a conversation with your doctor, when deciding how to incorporate an increase in activities in your life. If you are a senior looking to stay active, or a friend or relative of a senior you’d like to help stay healthy, here are 5 easy ways for seniors to stay active:
Walking is a low impact and easy way to stay active. There are so many ways to incorporate more walking into your daily routine– park further away from your destination, take a morning stroll through your neighborhood, or make plans to meet a friend in the park for a mid-day walk and chat session. As you build your stamina there are simple ways to challenge yourself and add to the intensity of walking like increasing the speed, duration, or adding elevation.
Regardless of your current level of activity, stretching can be an extremely beneficial way to introduce more activity into your daily routine. Stretching can increase joint mobility, prevent injuries, and decrease muscle soreness. Many stretches can be completed in a chair or even in a bed. Like walking, you can challenge yourself to make stretching more difficult as you build your flexibility and range of motion.
Need an example? Here is a simple stretch that you can try without leaving your seat:
While sitting with both legs stretched out straight in front of you reach down as if you are trying to touch your toes. Hold that stretch for several seconds, release, and repeat 2-3 times.
Water exercises are often a perfect solution for older adults that have difficulty with weight-bearing activities or joint mobility. Exercising in water utilizes the water’s buoyancy to create an environment easy for moving with less risk of injury while still maintaining resistance that can help build muscle. Many community pools, gyms, and spas have started offering classes such as Water Aerobics or Aqua Zumba.
Join a club or participate in community activities
Seniors can remain active by joining clubs or participating in community organizations or activities. Senior Centers typically offer a variety of clubs and activities for seniors to participate in. You can also look for your local community calendar and you’re likely to find activities ranging from volunteering to Music in the Park. Participating in activities such as these can be a fun way to stay active.
But what if options 1-4 aren’t options at all? Injuries, pain, illness, or even low stamina could hinder your ability to add physical activity into your daily routine. Maybe you can’t walk or even stretch. What alternative, if any, can provide the same type of benefits that physical activity can?
That’s where a circulation booster can become a powerful tool. For example, the Revitive Circulation Booster is an FDA approved medical device designed to boost circulation in the legs and feet. Circulation boosters help address poor circulation, painful legs and feet, swelling in the ankles and feet, muscle weakness, leg and foot cramps, and tiring or aching legs and feet. A circulation booster can be an alternative or even an adjunct to daily exercise. Real-life users have shared their experiences ranging from being able to get back on their feet again to being completely pain free. Thanks to tools like these, limited mobility no longer has to mean a less active lifestyle.