Physical activity has plenty of benefits for older adults. It reduces the risk of mental and physical health conditions and improves our strength, balance, memory, mood, and overall sense of well-being.
Not every older adult enjoys intense physical activity, though.
This is where active living comes in.
Older adults can enjoy the health benefits of physical activity by adopting active living. In a nutshell, active living is a lifestyle that incorporates more physical activity into daily living in a manageable way.
Here are some tips to help you adopt an active living lifestyle:
Active Living Community
Some communities are changing how older adults live through innovative practices. For example, many older adults redefine senior living with All Seniors Care by taking advantage of onsite amenities that offer a variety of physical activities of different intensities that match the needs of the residents.
Community members can enjoy exercise areas, pools, and activity calendars filled with group classes. They can also try workouts such as dance, yoga, and Tai Chi.
Of course, active living works up an appetite. Thankfully, the living centre provides dietitian-approved healthy snacks and meals, rich in vitamins and minerals, that is energizing and a treat for the taste buds.
Walking or Cycling
Walking or cycling with people you know is a fine way to exercise, enjoy the open air, and socialize.
If you don’t have anyone to walk or cycle within your community, consider joining a local club. There are many clubs out there that will help keep you active while providing opportunities for socialization.
Low-Intensity Strength and Balance Training
Low-intensity strength and balance training exercises like those performed in Tai Chi classes are manageable for older adults and offer many benefits. Strength-training exercises that involve using resistance bands or hand weights can help build muscle and strength.
Balance-training exercises, like Yoga or Tai Chi, can enhance your balance and reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Many older adults enjoy Yoga and Tai Chi because they offer a low-impact workout and involve fewer risks.
Incorporating both into a routine a couple of times a week can take your active living game to the next level.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for older adults. The low-impact nature of swimming reduces the effect on a swimmer’s joints. Swimming also improves cardio fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility. In addition, swimming improves mood by releasing endorphins into the body — the chemical that’s released when we’re happy.
Technology can offer a number of ways to stay active:
- Use your smartphone to track your steps and monitor your heart rate to stay on top of your activities.
- Check out apps that help you adopt active living.
- Connect with your family through apps like Skype or FaceTime and engage in fun activities.
- Play low-intensity physical activity games on video game consoles like the Nintendo Wii.
Dance classes are an exciting and entertaining way to stay active and meet new friends. Dancing also helps older adults maintain a healthy weight, improve balance and posture, and gain self-confidence!
It’s never too late to adopt a more active lifestyle. Whether it’s joining a community, learning a new exercise, or taking a class, there are plenty of ways for older adults to keep their minds and bodies engaged in new activities.