Most of us have this mentality that once we grow old, we won’t be able to grow muscle or be as active as we were when we were young. We believe lifting heavy weights or doing certain stunts can injure old people in a far worse way.
We won’t tell you you’re totally wrong, but rather the thing is that exercises for different age groups are supposed to be different. There are some specific exercises senior citizens should perform.
Exercises for old people will in fact keep them young both physically and mentally. It will help in increasing their energy levels, reduce body stiffness and make them stronger. There are four basic forms of exercise the elderly should employ.
This group contains those exercises that are associated mostly with the heart and circulatory system. They increase the heart rate and benefit the body hugely. Old people performing these will greatly decrease their chances of getting heart attacks or any other cardiac problems.
Almost all basic exercises like cycling, jogging, swimming, etc. are endurance exercises. The good thing about these exercises is almost anyone can perform them as they are very easy to execute and understand. Even jumping in one spot is a kind of endurance activity, so you won’t need much space or equipment to perform them.
Strength exercises help one in building strength. These are essential for old people according to us as they come handy in a variety of everyday situations. Many old people suffer from lower back problems, or they tear up a muscle or two performing some heavy duty activity, so doing strength exercises can benefit them greatly.
It includes lifting free weights, performing bodyweight exercises like push ups, squats, pull ups or using resistance bands. Strength exercises also help to increase the metabolism of the body, which usually slows down as a person ages. Increasing metabolism means increased fat loss, so this is a bonus for old people who want to lose weight.
Stretching exercises help in maintaining the flexibility of the body, which has a range of supplementary benefits like keeping the muscles or ligaments free of injury. It is advised to always perform these exercises before starting out strength or endurance activities.
Performing stretches helps in increasing the body’s range of motion in doing everyday simple moves, or at the gym, which leads to full muscular development and risk-free weightlifting for the elderly.
To perform stretching exercises, you need to do what the name suggests i.e., simply stretch out the muscle you plan to put under strain. For example, the inner thigh stretch helps increases the thigh and hip range of motion which further improves the body’s functional ability in simple moves like standing and walking.
The exercises associated with balance mainly work on the ability to stand and keep one’s self still, but they’re not as vague as the name sounds. In fact, they are one of the most important exercises when compared with our other three listed here, which are basically the exercises to help a person be fit. However, this is important because other than fitness, it also helps to improve the posture and body mechanics.
These are extremely simple to perform but take a lot of focus and concentration when compared with the other three. One example of balance exercise is the single-leg stance in which one has to balance on one leg, using an object to offset their weight if necessary. This is a great exercise to feel the body’s center of gravity across your foot.