Nobody denies getting older changes your body and endurance. However, everyone benefits from physical exercises. Exercise not only helps the body and fitness but also helps improve your mood, protects against disease and lowers the chance of injury. Aim for 30 minutes of cardio exercise each day. Here are some suggestions.
No matter your age walking is one of the best all-round exercises. It strengthens leg muscles and through the movement and massaging action on your veins as your walk this improves blood flow throughout the body. Walking has a low rate of injury. Don't over exert yourself but move at a brisk pace if you are able that will make your heart beat faster, holding your back straight if you can. Breathe deeply to ensure you get enough oxygen. Why not use a step counter and try to build up if you can to up to 10,000 steps each day.
Power Walking or Jogging
Power walking and jogging are excellent activities for seniors, helping to improve blood flow and keep the heart rate up. If you are up to a little more than just walking give this a go. Start with just five minutes of power walking or jogging, and slowly build up to 30 minutes if you are able. Power walking gives you more of a moderate level of activity, while jogging is a more vigorous level. Warm up with a few stretches beforehand and make sure you drink plenty of water before, after and during your activity
Swimming offers cardiovascular benefits with low impact. As above start with just 5 minutes of swimming and if you can build up to 30 minutes a day. Keep in mind that you should do more than 10 minutes at a time. Less than this won't give you the heart and lung benefits desired
Tennis is not only a great social activity but great for increasing the heart rate. Make tennis a part of your weekly routine. If you don't know anyone to play with there's bound to be a local club close by you can join where you can also make a whole new set of friends! Again build up if you aren't used to exercise and make sure you breathe deeply. Rest whenever you have to, we're sure your new friends will understand as you build up your fitness.
So head out and enjoy! Let us know your favourite cardio activity ...
For many, gardening is one of life's simple pleasures it is also a great way to stay fit and healthy and continue to appreciate the outdoors as we all age! That is, until pain overrides the joy. For most older people living with arthritis, high blood pressure or diabetes, gardening is often a pastime left as a memory. However, with just a few changes, you too can enjoy the pleasures of pain-free gardening.
· Say goodbye to your aching back. With just a few minor modifications, a garden can be an easier place to work. Instead of bending over and planting in the ground, build raised beds to a more comfortable height. Stand with your arms to your side. Where the tips of your fingers hit is the perfect height for the top of the flowerbed. Either enlist help in building of the flowerbed or make sure to wait until later in the day when the sun is not so hot. Always have a water bottle and a proper straw hat.
· A centralized water bucket keeps you from lugging heavy containers to water your plants. Fill a larger container and carry smaller water pots to where your plants are. Or, if economically feasible, consider installing sprinklers. The ease of use will far outweigh the cost.
· Think perennials, shrubs and trees instead of annuals. With a proper mulching program to stave off weeds, perennials are a plant-it-once, love-it-forever plant. This cuts back on your replanting season after season. It also gives you a budget-friendly way to expand your garden. Using native plants is also a good idea, as they are properly suited to your area and will be easier to grow. This is both convenient for you and better for your environment.
· Mulch is not merely a decorative touch for your property. It's meant to keep plants cool, to conserve water and to help provide a barrier to weeds. A small layer of newspaper under the mulch of choice will also provide an organic, biodegradable landscaping fabric. Mulch will break down over the season and will help enrich the soil.
· Propagating your perennials will yield a multitude of new plants each year. Go online or consult a gardening manual in your region to gain the proper times to take cuttings or do divisions of the plants you purchase. Consider a single daylily: one clump will easily provide you with more than 10 new plants each year. This shows you the wealth of plants you can have in just a few short seasons.
· Invest in the right tools for your garden. Have oversized rakes and shovels with ergonomic, padded handles. Investing in proper tools will be cheaper in the long run than purchasing tools that hinder your movements, break from poor construction or fail to work without causing you pain. Less strain for your hands will give you the ability to work longer without pain. A large-wheeled cart will help you move plants and mulch around without having to carry them. Make sure your cart has wheels that rotate 360° and are not locked into a mere front-to-back motion. This makes it much easier to move around without binding.
With just a little foresight, most “older” gardeners can bask in the glory of a wonderful, colorful garden without putting stress or strain on the body. Getting older doesn't mean you have to lose out on the things you love or risk injury to enjoy yourself. By following the above tips, you'll be sharing floral arrangements with the neighbours in no time.
As you age often those adrenalin filled activities that you thrived on in your younger years often lose their appeal. However getting older gives you no excuses for sitting back and not getting out and being active.
Here are a few alternatives however that you can enjoy, meet great people and keep active without having to actually extend yourself too far!
Most retirement villages and local areas seem to have an obligatory Bowls Club. Bowls may often seem a little tame compared to other sports but don’t be deceived, there is real skill required! Rather than a test of stamina it is more a test of hand/eye coordination and strategy.
The aim of the game is to roll your bowls closest to the “jack” or “kitty” that is sent to one end of the green. Bowls can be played as singles, doubles or triples. The balls are weighted on one side so they don’t run straight which is where much of the skill comes in.
You will find most clubs will play “roll up” games where any club member can turn up and also hold Club Tournaments.
There are often locations too for indoor bowls which work on the same principles.
When you talk about croquet you conjure up images of English lawns, finely dressed ladies and afternoon tea in the gardens!
Like bowls it appears deceptively easy to play but again there is a certain degree of skill to get the balls cleanly through the hoops. Often referred to a cross between snooker and chess played on a large lawn it is a thinking person’s sport and once mastered it is a game of strategy, discipline and calculated risk, both mentally stimulating and competitive.
Croquet provides a sporting challenge, gentle exercise and companionship.
If you love the water and don’t have a boat, Kayaking is a good alternative. Once you own a kayak, paddle and life jacket there are no on-going costs. If you don’t want to lift your kayak on your car roof you can get H frame trailers.
You can get sit in or sit on kayaks. The sit on version is better for sea paddling. If you have a sit in kayak and want to go out in all temperatures you can often get a “skirt” to keep water out. Kayaking is wiser to do with someone else and so is a great option for a couple of good friends to head out together.
Nothing can be more healthy thank a good brisk walk! You can vary your scenery with cliff walks, bush walks, through our glorious regional parks or even walks around town centres. If you are visiting an area ask the local Department of Conservation Office or Visitor Centre who should be able to provide you with maps.
Walking is of course not only peaceful and good for you as a gentle form of exercise (or you can make it as vigorous as you wish) but also a great way to see places not often accessible by car.
If you don’t want to walk alone most areas have walking clubs where you can join likeminded people and enjoy the scenery together. The club will often have organised walks that you are able to join.
Our passion is to support those older folk in our community by providing information and advice and we just love your feedback on this too!
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