Everyone knows that exercising is essential throughout all stages of life. However, as we age, our health starts to deteriorate and moving our bodies becomes even more critical. Doing sports not only helps prevent heart disease, but it also improves balance, reduces obesity risk, increases happiness, among many other positive factors. Still, the older we get, the riskier some sports become. While jumping to the first sport that comes into mind can be tempting, it may be more detrimental than beneficial. It's always advisable to visit a doctor to understand the best type of exercise for the health condition in place. Nevertheless, there are some sports that are generally considered the best for seniors to practice.
Low-Impact Aerobic Sports
Low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming, and dancing are popular choices. Going for a walk is the easiest (and cheapest) way to exercise. There’s no need for fancy and expensive gear – just open the door and embrace the outdoors. Alone or in a group, the most important thing is that you're doing some exercise and moving your body. Even if there's bad weather, you can always have a stroll in the nearby mall – perfect to do some window shopping while you’re there.
Swimming is the chosen exercise for many people with reduced mobility, and for good reason. Since bodies feel lighter while underwater, it's easier to move around and people – specifically the elderly – are able to make movements that they otherwise wouldn't. In other words, seniors can improve their muscular strength with greater ease than they would otherwise have outside water.
Who doesn’t love jamming to their favorite songs? Dancing is the perfect sport to exercise while having fun at the same time. Everyone can turn up the volume of their radio and dance at home. However, we highly advise joining a dance class in the neighborhood as well. This way, besides improving your health, you get to meet new people and, who knows, make some new friends.
When you reach a certain age, falling becomes very scary and a bad fall can change your quality of life forever – so it's no child's play. Since our balance deteriorates with age and we start falling more often, it makes doing sports that improve our stability, such as yoga or tai chi, crucial.
Yoga is a comprehensive workout that strengthens all your body’s muscles, improves both balance and flexibility, and reduces stress. The more complicated positions may scare some people off, though. However, beginners all start with basic exercises that anyone can do, youngsters and seniors alike, so, if you’ve been thinking of taking some yoga classes, today is the best day to start.
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that has been practiced for centuries. it features slow, meditative movements, perfect for any senior looking for a way to exercise. Besides the many health benefits, tai chi practitioners will also feel their muscles strengthening, their balance increasing, higher flexibility, and greater peace of mind.
Professional Assistance Available
These are just some examples of ways to move your body, improve your health, physical aptitude, and overall happiness. However, exercising always has an associated risk factor, especially when it comes to older adults. This way, it's essential to have help right away if the worst happens. Medical alert systems are the perfect service to have if an accident occurs. There are a few details to take into account, though.
First, since most sports happen outside your house, a service that offers help through a mobile device is a must. Usually, companies offering this type of equipment have them as a wristband or a necklace. This way, not only will you be able to wear it as a neat piece of jewelry, the equipment will be with you at all times.
If you go for a water sport such as swimming or water aerobics, you need to ensure that the device is made of water-proof material. Medical Guardian is one of the few companies that offer this type of equipment. Another vital feature that seniors need to consider is having fall detection, especially if they're training alone. Devices with this neat characteristic can detect a fall, automatically connecting the senior to a trained professional, ready to help. Bay Alarm Medical and Alert1 are just two examples of companies offering such a service.
Now that you know what sport to practice and are equipped for any type of incident, it's time to go outside and start exercising. Happy training!
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