As you age, it gets harder and harder to do the activities you used to do to stay healthy and active. Even if you can’t run five miles or go rock climbing anymore, that doesn’t mean the rest of your days are relegated to your couch. The more you stay active as you get older, the younger you will feel, and there are a number of great activities for seniors to stay active.
For some general guidelines, healthcare professionals recommend that seniors get at least two hours and thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or an hour and fifteen minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity a week. This amount of activity will help ward off heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression, and dementia. Aerobic activities can include walking at a brisk pace, jogging with some friends, taking a water aerobics class, or even pushing a lawn mower. Basically, anything that gets your heart rate going faster than usual and reduces the amount of time you spend watching television or doing other sedentary activities.
Unfortunately, daily activities like shopping, cooking, and housework don’t count as aerobic activities, but there are ways that you can turn these into strength-building exercises through functional fitness. Functional fitness is an exercise regimen that involves doing exercises that mimic daily activities like lifting a heavy bag of groceries or getting in and out of a low chair. By strengthening the muscles you use for these activities, you can minimize your chance of injuring yourself while making it easier to do these sorts of activities on a regular basis by yourself. You’ll be better able to go grocery or clothes shopping, go out to eat, or any number of other things that can increase your feeling of independence.
If you’re feeling especially spry, you can even try yoga to stay social, strengthen muscle, and keep your joints flexible.
While getting older isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to be debilitating. At MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, we recommend incorporating these great activities into a weekly routine to help you feel young, healthy, and independent.