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Nifty Above Fifty

Exercise for Senior Citizens because fitness knows no age!

It is said that “ Forty is the old age of youth and fifty is the youth of old age”. So if you are tending towards your retirement that shouldn't stop you from taking care of your health! So, listen to your body and begin with a good workout routine because exercises can have profound effects on the vitality and overall well being.

Before we even begin to discuss exercise, let us first analyze the benefit it has to offer to you. Let us see if this gets you interested!

Encash Exercise to Great health:

  1. Control your Cholesterol: Remember that heart is a muscle and gets strengthened when put under stress or workout. With proper diet there is an increase in the good HDL cholesterol and lowering of bad LDL cholesterol preventing any clogs in arteries.

  1. Reduce the Blood Pressure: High Blood pressure could potentially damage kidney vessels leading to the worst scenario of blindness. Since arteries could be damaged as a result of High BP, a resulting clot in brain can trigger a stroke. Exercise along with diet helps lower blood pressure which in turn may reduce the risks involved in it.

  1. More efficient Lungs: Exercise creates increased oxygen levels in the body thus enhancing the stamina. Increased oxygen levels are also linked with longevity.

  1. Maintain Bone and Muscles: One of the great way to keep your bone and muscles healthy is exercising, especially for women who are more prone to suffer from osteoporosis. Stronger bones means more mobility. However taking enough calcium along with staying active is important too.

  1. Reducing Fat levels: Exercise can help reduce fat levels and burn calories which is a great way to reduce the risks of heart disease and blood pressure as well as prevent knee and back pains..

  1. Improved Immune System: With age, the immune system is more susceptible to certain bacteria and diseases but exercise can increase the chances of their ability to fight off certain diseases.

  1. Psychological Benefits: Above all the physical benefits, the person working out experiences a better self confidence and high esteem. Exercise activates endorphins, a chemical that makes us feel good. It is a great way to treat emotional pain and distress caused due to aging, wrinkled looks or grey hair.

  1. Energy Levels and Sleep: Exercise also tends to cause relaxation inducing good sleep and increased energy levels in the body.

Now that you are motivated to get the body machinery rolling, let's see some of the options for getting things going.

Getting Started:

  • Household Activities : To begin with., there is no place like home! There are many day to day activities which could be incorporated like gardening, making your own bed, mopping, carrying grocery bags, vacuum cleaning, lifting grand children or even tying shoe laces. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a potential workout. Such activities not only keep one busy, get the body into an active form but also are forms of good stretching and strengthening exercises. Even making and rolling the dough into a roti (flat bread) is not less than a workout for arms!

  • Walking: One of the best and easiest form of overall workout is Walking. While a whiff of fresh air fills your body and mind with freshness and positivity the body gets the much needed exercise. Walking will exercise all of your leg muscles and is also a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Throw in a few stretches before starting and arm rotations while you walk and the whole body also benefits. You can start by 10 minutes a day and gradually increase it based upon your fitness and comfort. And the best part is you can simply go to the nearby park to begin with since walking on ground is preferred than walking on hard surfaces such as roads or cemented pathways since it reduces the pressure on the knees! You can even choose to walk around the mall for window shopping or just park your car at the end of the parking lot to take some extra steps. Get creative on how you can make walking an activity you enjoy rather than an exercise that you need to do.

  • Swimming: For those who love water can reap benefits of swimming as it not only exercises the complete body but also builds great stamina. Always enter the water by dipping your feet first, to enable the body to adjust to the water temperature. A small warmup consisting of on the spot jogging in the water is also helpful to warm up the body (and also an option for those who don't know how to swim and yet want to enjoy the exercise in the water). Water relieves stress on bones and joints and hence is a recommended form of exercise for the seniors young at heart. It can even help post menopausal women avoid bone loss. However, being in water does not mean you can lower your water intake. In fact, make sure to keep yourself well hydrated before and after swimming laps.

  • Gyms / Fitness Centers: Another form of exercise is hitting the gyms. However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before taking the plunge. The gyms do offer low impact exercises for seniors and under supervision of an instructor. Please ensure if the instructor is qualified to train seniors and the precautions in place by the establishment.

  • Yoga: If you want to be healthy the holistic way, then Yoga is your Mantra. A regular practice of breathing exercises and asanas can offer all kinds of mental and physical health benefits. A good Yoga instructor will offer alternate positions to poses that you have trouble with, so don't fret if you cant touch your toes or have trouble getting up and down. In fact, Yoga is a wonderful way to ease the stiffness that on sets with the age thereby giving you a flexible and a healthy body.

It is a proven fact that those who have remained active at home doing the daily chores face lesser health problems than those who have just limited their activities to a desk job or a couch potato. As we have discussed above, fitness can be enjoyable and be made as a way of life rather than a forced exercise regime. Rather than considering workout as a burden, try to take it up as a stress buster activity and a source of fun and socializing (playing cards with your friends will not count here!).

Fitness is not about being better than someone else, it's about being better than you used to be. 

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