Seniors: Exercising every day without getting hurt
Age is relative when it comes to exercise. Everyone has the ability to move! Daily physical activity helps maintain good mental and physical health, especially for seniors.
Exercise and sports, adapted for seniors, remain accessible and even relieve the discomforts associated with certain health problems.
Familiprix is proud to promote exercise among seniors.
Consult a doctor first
Before starting an exercise program, it is important to consider factors, such as your age, family health history, the intensity of the exercise program or physical activity you choose, and the possible risks to your cardiovascular system.
Who exactly needs to see a doctor?
If you have no known health problems and your goal is to engage in an activity with light-to-moderate intensity, such as a walking program for seniors, there are no contraindications.
However, if you have a specific condition, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease (you or a family member), lung, liver or kidney disease, excess weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc., it would be advisable to make an appointment with your doctor, either for testing, to evaluate your condition, or to adapt the exercise to your situation so as not to injure yourself or worsen your condition.
Make simple exercises part of your daily routine
It is best to start slowly if you are not used to exercising. The more gradual you ease into a new physical activity, the more likely you will make it a permanent part of your lifestyle and daily routine.
To be healthy, 1 hour of exercise per day, at moderate intensity, is enough. You can even split this hour into 10-minute periods throughout the day.
Perhaps you have not noticed, but you may already be exercising without realizing it. In fact, some everyday activities make you move naturally, whether it's doing the laundry, cleaning, gardening or mowing the lawn.
You can also switch things up a bit by making a conscious decision to take the stairs instead of the elevator, leave the car in the driveway and walk to do your errands, or park the car away from the door when you go to the store or grocery store.
Also, tap into your interests. Choosing an activity that you enjoy is likely to motivate you more. Biking, walking and swimming are just some of the many choices you have. Just keep it simple and it will last.
The benefits of exercise
There are many benefits to physical activity for older adults. For example, exercising helps to:
Reduce the risk of falls.
Muscles must work to achieve better balance.
Prevent health problems.
Adapted physical activity for older adults prevents, or at least slows, the progression of many chronic conditions or diseases.
Exercise is known to have a positive effect on mood and mental health.
Friends, family members or even co-workers are great partners to work out with, and it's much more fun that way! Golf, bowling, bocce or walking are just a few of the activities that can be done while talking! In addition, there are many group classes for seniors that provide new encounters and take motivation to the next level!
Activating the joints, whenever possible, can often reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis, in addition to stabilizing motor skills and allowing for greater independence.
Exercise has the ability to increase energy levels on a daily basis.
When it comes to exercise for seniors, there are certain precautions to consider, such as:
Choose the right clothing for the physical activity.
Good shoes and appropriate clothing will ensure comfort during exercise.
Have a water bottle.
Hydration during physical effort allows the body to stabilize body temperature and compensate for water loss.
Rely on a professional.
When starting a new activity, it can be a good idea to take advantage of an experienced instructor or teacher. For example, you could sign up for a course.
Maintain an appropriate level of effort.
Physical activities that require moderate effort should be prioritized.
Reduce the risk of falls.
The area chosen for training should be free of objects on the ground, non-slippery and sufficiently lit.
You don't have to be an athlete to exercise, far from it. Being fit, especially for seniors, is about feeling good physically and mentally, being comfortable in your own body, and having the ability to go about your daily activities at your own pace.
All efforts are important.
Be kind to yourself!
Article written in partnership with Vie de Grands-Parents