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 ...
It's summer, the weather is glorious and whatever your age you should be out and about and enjoying life but sometimes its all too easy to make an excuse so here are 5 myths about exercising for those a little older that just hold it!
Myth 1: There’s no point to exercising. I’m going to get old anyway.
Fact: Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Myth 2: Elderly people shouldn’t exercise. They should save their strength and rest.
Fact: Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for the elderly. Period. Inactivity often causes seniors to lose the ability to do things on their own and can lead to more hospitalizations, doctor visits, and use of medicines for illnesses.
Myth 3: Exercise puts me at risk of falling down.
Fact: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.
Myth 4: It’s too late. I’m already too old to start exercising
Fact: You’re never too old to exercise! If you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a while, start with light walking and other gentle activities.
Myth 5: I’m disabled. I can’t exercise sitting down.
Fact: Chair-bound people face special challenges but can lift light weights, stretch, and do chair aerobics to increase range of motion, improve muscle tone, and promote cardiovascular health.
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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