As the number of elderly people in Malaysia continues to rise, healthy ageing – which means staying active and healthy as you age – is now more important than ever.
Regular exercises a vital part of healthy ageing and making the effort to incorporate even simple physical activities into your daily routine can have a dramatic impact on reducing age-related health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases.
However, senior citizens are also known to be at higher risk of injuries and it is important to select the right workout for yourself. A good guide to what could be right for you would be an exercise that slightly increases your heart rate from its resting rate but at the same time it is not so intense that it leads to undue stress on your body.
In this article, we will walk you through a few suitable exercises that anyone will be able to add to their daily routine safely.
(NOTE:If you are known to have any medical condition or if you have not been exercising for a while, please consult your doctor before performing any additional physical activity)seniors
Walking is the simplest form of exercise that you can do. Although it is not as intense as running, walking is still an effective workout that can raise your heart rate and improve cardiovascular health while being easy on your joints. Walking will also help to reduce the risk of other health problems such as stroke, osteoporosis, and the risk of falling.
Walking is something that anyone can do safely even if you walk with a cane or walker. In fact, these walking aids will help to support your body weight and improve your balance. Medical experts recommend 2.5 hours of walking every week for an older adult, which means you should aim to walk for 20-30 minutes every day.
There are many ways to incorporate walking into your daily routine. For example, you can take a walk with co-workers during your lunch break or walk down the hall and talk with your team instead of replying them in an email. Outdoor activities can also be added to the schedule during family events especially those that are suitable for all the different age groups.
Swimming is also a suitable exercise for seniors because the supportive nature of water significantly reduces the stress placed on your joints and also supports a full range of movement which will enhance your overall body strength, endurance and flexibility.If you don’t know how to swim, you can simply jog or walk in the water.
While swimming is a great physical activity for elderly, there are some things you should keep in mind. If you are new to swimming, make sure to take lessons from an experienced instructor. Secondly, always remember to do your stretching and warm-up before starting. It’s alright to take breaks if you find yourself getting exhausted and continue after a short rest. If you are swimming outdoors, the sun can take a toll on your skin so be generous with your sunscreen and keep up with your water consumption.
Cycling is another exercise that can provide cardiovascular benefits while being gentle on your joints. However, if you have difficulty balancing, fear of falling off, or if there are no good roads in your area, then a stationary bike can provide the same benefits.
Just like swimming, there are some precautions for you to follow before you start cycling. Always remember to put on your protective gears such a helmet and knee or elbow guards. If you frequently develop lower back pain, you can increase the padding on your seat or get a backrest installed to take the pressure off your lower back and tailbone. And remember to keep up with your fluid intake especially if you are cycling outdoors so you can avoid dehydration.
Dancing is a good option because in addition to the cardiovascular benefits it also helps to improve your co-ordination and balance. Dancing is also fun and it can contribute to your social life which is important especially if you are retired.
There are many different types of dancing so it is important to choose the one that is suitable for you. A few of the more popular options include line dancing, clogging or tap dance, salsa, tango or even seated dancing. Apart from just choosing a dance based on your capability or level of co-ordination, it is equally important to pick a dance that you enjoy so that you can continue doing it for a long time.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few of the suitable exercises that can be done safely by anyone including seniors. If you stay in Kuala Lumpur, you can also come over to Life n Fitness and see how our senior fitness programs can help you live your best life in your golden years.