When we think of activities or physical activities for seniors, we immediately think of unavoidable objections, such as lack of time, money, motivation, difficulty staying indoors, etc.
Calm down. It’s normal to think about all this and still postpone the start of activities. In addition, many people enroll in the gym, get motivated in the first few months, and then feel forced to go and start missing out.
For the elderly, the difficulty can be even more significant. Problems with locomotion, lack of stimuli and information, not knowing what types of physical activities will be appropriate make many of them remain sedentary.
Benefits of physical activity
In Brazil, older women who participated in a scientific study by the University of the State of Minas Gerais started practicing regular activities, reducing the number of medications, and improved body pain, mobility, sleep quality, and digestive system.
In addition, they had social incentives, as they exercised in groups, with increased well-being (mental and physical) and decreased depression.
It is more than proven that physical activity helps control blood pressure and bowel function, helps balance, and prevents diabetes, as the body better uses glucose.
You could see that staying still is not an option, it’s a health issue, and we should take it more seriously. Some activities are easy and can be done outdoors. For example, check out the 05 types of physical activities (exercises for the elderly) simple and effective.
1 – Aerobic exercises
Are you walking, cycling, jumping rope, or doing water aerobics? These are some of the examples of aerobic exercise. To be more explanatory, you can choose any physical activity that keeps movement repetition.
There are no age restrictions for these activities, but a thorough physical assessment from a geriatrician is essential to avoid straining the body and avoid injury. With all exams and medical clearance, this modality helps to strengthen muscles, improve coordination and balance.
A survey carried out with 252 older people over 70 years of age found that these exercises slow down the aging process in addition to muscle strengthening.
2 – Yoga
Yoga is an ancient physical activity accessible to anyone with back problems caused by poor posture, with pain that extends to the back. Generally, these are the biggest complaints of the elderly and make it difficult for them to move around.
For example, those who suffer from kyphosis have impaired posture, breathing, and an affected nervous system. This activity will help to strengthen all the muscles in the body, and stretches will improve posture.
Aligning the spine helps reduce fatigue. Other benefits include increased balance, motor coordination, improved bone health, lower blood pressure, and stress relief.
3 – Pilates
Pilates works on concentration, muscle strengthening, endurance, intensity, and body awareness. It is indicated for those who have already undergone treatments for joint pain.
The benefits offered to practitioners include increased flexibility and muscle strengthening, improved joints, balance and coordination, postural awareness, and improved breathing capacity.
4 – Tai Chi Chuan
The martial art grew out of kung-fu and developed to promote health and well-being. In addition, it is common to find free outdoor classes in squares and parks.
With Tai Chi, cardiovascular functions have a good result. The practice improves cardiac hemodynamics (blood circulation of the cardiac vessels), increases muscle strength, ventilatory functions, and balance.
Older adults with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can practice, although there is no scientific basis proving the reduction of cartilage deterioration, it is excellent complementary therapy.
Furthermore, it promotes confidence, well-being, focus, and body awareness and reduces anxiety, stress, and body aches. It is necessary to be careful because those who suffer from angina or ventricular arrhythmia should avoid the practice.
5 – Martial Arts
It may sound like a lie, but it’s not. Many martial arts academies still host seniors. The result is more encouragement, confidence, and health in their lives.
The main benefits are:
- High-level cardiovascular maintenance.
- Strengthening of all bone and muscle structure joints.
- Self-confidence and sociability.
All seniors who choose martial art as their primary physical activity must have constant medical monitoring and periodic physical assessments to monitor the evolution of the body and health during training.
As we can see, there are many options for exercising the body, so choose the best type of physical activity, don’t leave motivation aside, and the long-term benefits will be rewarding. Start exercising right now at an outdoor gym closest to you!