As adults age, it becomes more important than ever that they remain active, incorporating physical activity into their daily routine. However, many seniors simply don’t know where to begin when it comes to maintaining their strength and flexibility. Fortunately, there are a variety of activities that older adults can take part in to stay healthy.
Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise among people of all ages, and for good reason. One of the best things about yoga is that there are many different types of yoga practices, all of which achieve different results. For those looking for relaxation and a long, slow stretch, yin yoga is a fantastic choice. Each yoga pose is held for several minutes and the focus remains on slow, deep breathing throughout the practice.
A vinyasa practice, on the other hand, will provide a combination of strength, flexibility, and core work. Vinyasa teachers will often offer several different versions of each pose so that students of different levels are able to tailor their yoga practice to their own levels of flexibility. It is important for each individual to maintain a balance between challenging themselves and being gentle with their body, so that they will continue to see improvement without injuring themselves or straining any muscles.
A power yoga practice is a faster, more intense flow, and is great for those looking for something to make them sweat. This type of yoga will really work your core and strengthen major muscle groups such as the quads, calves, and glutes,
There are even specialty forms of yoga, such as laughing yoga, which can provide a powerful emotional release, and chair yoga, which allows seniors with mobility issues to stay active while remaining in a seated position.
It may sound simple, but walking on a daily basis can have an incredible positive impact on seniors’ mental and physical health. Getting outside for a short walk every day will not only provide a dose of fresh air, it also helps to:
- Increase blood flow
- Release mood-boosting endorphins
- Strengthen leg and core muscles
- Improve balance and flexibility
Seniors who are nervous about the prospect of exercise can start with one short 10 minute walk each day and gradually increase their activity level. After a few months, it is likely they will find that they can walk much farther and more frequently than they could when they first started.
Regardless of the type of physical activity, it is important to commit to regular practice, as this is the best way to maintain flexibility. The more frequently seniors are able to get active, the better the results will be.