Everyone agrees that exercise is important. It’s making yourself do it that is the challenge! However, as a senior, exercise can seem daunting. Arthritis, poor range of motion or chronic illnesses can all deter your determination. But movement, any type of movement, is good for you. Remember the saying, “use it or lose it?”
First, how does exercise benefit you? The obvious is that it can help lower weight. But exercise can also reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and strengthen your bones and muscles. Regular exercise will also help to reduce stress, improve your concentration, and help to have better sleep quality. Let’s not forget that this exertion can improve your confidence, balance, and overall sense of well-being.
So what kind of exercise is best for seniors? That depends on you! The easiest is walking. You can do it anywhere, anytime. You can walk around your neighborhood, become a mall walker, or take part in the Fort4Fitness Senior Challenge. Timing is perfect as the kick-off for the Senior Marathon is happening June 10th. The goal is to walk 26 miles over a 12-week period; that’s only two miles a week and if the folks from Kingston can do it every year, so can you. Call (260) 760-3371 for more information or register online at fort4fitness.org/fall-festival/seniors-marathon.
Many people walk to music as moving to a beat is motivational. Just remember that safety is key when walking. Wear good supportive shoes, have some form of identification on you, pay attention to your surroundings and walking with a buddy is always a good idea. If you are listening to music, make sure it is low enough that you can hear sounds around you such as sirens, horns, voices, etc.
There are other low key exercises you can consider. There is yoga, which includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, that is widely practiced for health and relaxation. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner also accompanied by deep breathing. Unable to stand safely? You can participate in seated exercises also known as chair exercises either online, on TV or buy a DVD.
As a senior, resistance exercises to strengthen your muscles will help you maintain healthy bone mass and prevent age-related muscle loss. Strength training will allow you to continue to perform everyday activities like climbing stairs and getting out of a chair with greater ease, and with less risk of falling, which can improve your quality of life. There are many places to work out with resistance machines. Of course, we invite you to come to Kingston Residence, 7515 Winchester Road where Diane, our Fitness Coach will work with you to tailor an exercise program specifically to meet your needs. This includes balance training. Diane also reminds that “pre-op and post-op exercise can strengthen muscles before surgery and help with your recovery.” Classes are only $3 each. You can reach Diane at 747-1523 to learn more.
Many centers such at the YMCA accept Silver Sneakers. This program works with over 60 insurance companies at more than 13,000 locations and allows you to join fitness classes for free. Their website is www.silversneakers.com to get more information. Kingston Care Center at 1010 W. Washington Center offers Silver Sneakers classes, both land and aquatic, for various ages and fitness levels. Water exercise is very kind to our body as the buoyancy of the water minimizes stress on our joints. You can contact them at 489-2552.
The weather is perfect for getting outside and moving. Start off slow, three times a week, and build up a bit more each day. Your endurance will grow and so will your sense of well-being. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!
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