Prevailing wisdom suggests that fitness becomes less and less important as we age. After all, isn’t fitness just another vanity tool, used by the youth to improve their looks and feel more confident?
Well, it can be. But fitness is a lot more than that.
Physical activity is among the most beneficial habits we can maintain as it offers dozens of fantastic benefits and asks for little in return.
Today, we’ll go over why exercise matters so much, and we’ll share with you the seven best practices and activities you should do.
Being Over 70 Isn’t An Excuse to Forget About Fitness
It can be tempting to use age as an excuse for not exercising. Many folks spend their entire lives without ever developing the habit of exercising, and starting later in life is the furthest through from their mind.
But, no matter if you’ve been active or sedentary in your youth, fitness will always benefit you, at least in small ways.
For one, regular exercise makes us more fit and allows us to live vibrant, productive, and happy lives. Being physically able to move and do work is rewarding and will enable you to live with more independence, even if you’re well into your seventies.
Second, regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to uplift our moods, and research has found that active people tend to be happier and more optimistic. No matter what your age is, being happier is something we should all strive to be.
With that said, I know that it might be a bit scary and overwhelming to get started. After all, fitness is often touted as this complicated and highly-demanding hobby. But, it doesn’t have to be like that. The truth is, you can achieve great results with simple tactics.
The Seven Best Exercises and Activities For Seniors Over 70
The fitness world offers thousands of exercises and activities for us. But, the below seven are some of the simples, most pleasurable, and most productive activities
Yes, walking. It seems easy, right? And it is!
The fact is, walking is among the most beneficial of physical activities. It’s easy to do, most folks can walk for a long time before getting tired, it’s safe, and you can easily incorporate it into your life.
What’s more, walking has been shown to aid with food digestion, and it helps release endorphins, much like more intense physical exercises do. Meaning, you can take a nice walk after each meal to help with digestion, and you will also get the added benefit of boosting your mood.
As far as traditional cardio goes, swimming is among the safest and most productive activities you can pick. For one, swimming is incredibly useful, burns a lot of calories, and helps improve cardiovascular health. It also trains the entire body, which offers the added benefit of making you more robust, more endurant, and more toned.
Swimming is also a low-impact activity, which means that it’s incredibly safe, and there’s minimal risk of developing an overuse injury.
Riding a Bike
Riding a bike is another low-impact activity that does a great job of keeping us fit, healthy, and happy. What’s more, riding a bike is a fantastic way to tone up your lower body, burn a bunch of calories, and improve your cardiovascular health.
And, if the weather is bad and doesn’t permit outside activity, you can always swap riding a bike with cycling on a stationary one – the benefits are pretty much the same, and the only drawback is that you’re doing it indoors.
Yoga is a holistic practice that combines elements of physical strength, flexibility, balance, and mindfulness. The combination of these elements makes yoga an incredible activity that not only helps us elevate our physical selves, but also makes us more mindful, more balanced, and more present.
The practice has been around for millennia, and folks from all over the world use (and attest to) it as an incredible means of getting in shape.
Pilates is a gentle, safe, and very effective way of improving your core strength, posture, and whole-body flexibility. And, much like yoga, pilates is comfortable for the joints, which makes it a perfect activity for seniors and fitness newbies alike.
Plus, pilates classes are an excellent place to meet others, socialize, and have some fun. What’s more, you can practice pilates with nothing but a floor mat.
Bodyweight training, also known as calisthenics, is a great way to reap the benefits of resistance training without having to go to a gym for your sessions.
All you need is a bit of space, and you can have a great workout in less than half an hour. Plus, most exercises can be modified to fit your fitness level, so you don’t have to worry about any of them being too challenging for you.
For example, if regular push-ups are too difficult, you can always do knee push-ups, which decrease the level of resistance and allow you to reap the benefits of the exercise.
Other great exercises include:
- Plank or knee plank;
- Calf raises;
- Arm, shoulder, and neck circles;
Training With Resistance Bands
So you have nothing but a resistance band and are looking for creative ways to spice up your current exercise regimen or start a new one?
Well, training with a resistance band is an excellent way to do both those things.
Unlike traditional weights, resistance bands offer a consistent level of resistance throughout the entire range of motion of each exercise. So, unlike, say, a conventional dumbbell, using a resistance band, will engage your muscles much more effectively.
What’s even better about resistance bands is that you can perform a variety of exercises, mix them with bodyweight training, and train your entire body in the comfort of your home.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how to exercise safely and effectively.
The old saying, “Age is just a number.” might not be entirely accurate, but it has some merit. The fact is, so long as you put some effort in, you can reap incredible benefits in the face of physical capability, and physical and mental well-being.
So, no matter your age or current circumstances, it’s never too late to introduce some form of exercise into your life and elevate yourself.