Seniors and Exercise: Where and How?

I was approached by a woman who wanted to get the word out there to the Senior Population on ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Sally is a former nutritionist and gym instructor.  She recently had an experience with her mother and how she could manage her persistent problems with her blood pressure.  She found that this issue continued to worsen with age, a common circumstance with this condition.  Together with her doctors she devised a simple diet and exercise routine which helped keep her blood pressure under control.  She wanted to share her research with the general population as to help others with the same situation and prevent more from having to tackle it as their lives continue.

The following is her article on how and where to exercise as you age:

The Gym vs. Home: Working Out as You Age

There’s no question that staying active as you age can help to improve your quality of life. It helps to keep you healthy by reducing blood pressure, maintaining bone and joint health, strengthening muscles, and reducing the risk of certain chronic conditions such as cancer and diabetes. Regular exercise can even help to improve mental health, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression while improving memory.

As you get older, you may be wondering where you should go when you want to work out. While the kickboxing ring or the rugby field might be out of the question, seniors can still easily work in their weekly exercise routine at the gym or from home.

Working out at the gym

Heading down to the gym for your workouts helps to get you out of the house and into a new and exciting environment. You can take advantage of gym equipment for some light strength training or swim some laps in the pool to get your heart working. Many gyms also offer classes for members, including lightweight sessions specifically designed for seniors. Signing up for exercise classes also gives you the chance to meet new friends while keeping fit.

It can be challenging to get to the gym, especially for seniors who are unable to drive themselves. Many high-end gym charge fees upwards of a couple of hundred dollars for membership, which is more than many seniors living on a fixed income can afford. Some facilities offer discounts for seniors, though it depends entirely on the gym’s membership policies.

If you’re looking for a gym in your area that caters to seniors, you can find one through the AARP and ICAA online Age-Friendly Facilities and Services Locator. Seniors can also look for gyms that offer the AARP Silver Sneakers walking program.

Working out at home

If you aren’t able to make it to a senior-friendly gym, you don’t necessarily have to give up your workout routine. You can modify exercises so that you’re able to move safely around your home, including light weightlifting, walking, or chair exercises. Fitness columns, exercise tapes, and more can help you to plan a routine by following professional advice and demonstrations. If you aren’t able to exercise safely on your own, you can find support services in your area run by private and nonprofit services that are geared towards helping older adults to keep fit as they age. Many senior living communities have services on site that visit seniors to help them work out from the comfort of their own home.

As you age, maintaining an exercise routine is essential to your health. Whether you work out at the gym or at home, light strength training and cardio can help you to live a longer and happier life.