Aging Gracefully: Choose Exercises That Are Appropriate For You
Aging gracefully with exercise that is appropriate for you means that you may be modifying the exercise routines you’ve always done. Given the alternative to aging, the good news is that all of us are doing it.
Injuries and Accidents
The majority of falls that seniors take can be avoided by remaining flexible, staying aware and mindful, and by practicing exercises that are tailored to working out the whole body. Car accidents by seniors often revolve around decreased flexibility due to the loss of range-of-motion. Diminished mobility of the neck contributes to the inability to see cars behind you. Whether you’re pulling out of a parking space or changing lanes on the highway, it’s important to stay limber enough to narrow the region of blind spots.
National Institute on Aging Regarding Exercise
According to the National Institute on Aging, there are four exercise categories to include in your workout regimen that can help maintain strength, resilience and elasticity. They are: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.
Endurance or aerobic exercises are those that increase your breathing and heart rate. These include activities such as brisk walking, jogging, or dancing. Yard work is also in this category, with mowing, raking, and many forms of gardening.
Strength training can take place in a gym or during activities in your daily life. Small changes in muscle strength can go a long way toward improving the function of the muscle, itself. Strength training exercises include: walking stairs, lifting weights, carrying groceries, using resistance bands, or your own body weight, such as leg lifts or push ups.
Exercises that improve balance help with the prevention of falls that can result in debilitating injuries. Standing on one foot, looking upward, practicing various yoga postures, and mindfully
walking heel-to-toe, are included.
Flexibility training involves stretching for greater freedom of movement and range-of-motion. This also assists with the prevention of injuries, especially to the shoulders, upper arms, and calf muscles. Tai Chi is a popular exercise in this category.
In general, exercise becomes less about grunting and overworking muscles in long hours at the gym, and more about efficient, total body workouts that address the various goals listed above.
Here’s to your good health and aging gracefully.