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Attention To Health And Fitness Helps Seniors Age Gracefully

Updated on April 9, 2015

You're never too old to be fit!

You can get this beautiful book absolutely free!

Just follow the link to get this easy-to-read Guide in English or Spanish, full of useful information, sample exercises & real-life success stories to help you!
Just follow the link to get this easy-to-read Guide in English or Spanish, full of useful information, sample exercises & real-life success stories to help you! | Source

Yoga is a lifelong form of exercise!

The New Yoga for Healthy Aging: Living Longer, Living Stronger and Loving Every Day
The New Yoga for Healthy Aging: Living Longer, Living Stronger and Loving Every Day

My FaceBook friend, Suza Francina, is a skilled yogini specializing in yoga for seniors. She has written several excellent books on the subject. I have been practicing Hatha Yoga since the 1970s. There are several forms of yoga in varying intensity levels. There's sure to be one that's just right for you!

 

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Recent studies have shown what people have known through common sense for a long time. Seniors who stay active, eat well and take good care of themselves stay more flexible and enjoy better health and a better overall quality of life. Furthermore, it should come as no surprise that seniors who engage in activities they enjoy are much more likely to keep up with their health and fitness routines. There is really no limit to the activities seniors can enjoy to keep healthy and strong and stay active. Here are just a few!


Seniors Should Pay Close Attention To Cardiovascular Health


A good cardiovascular workout uses the large muscle groups of the body in a steady and rhythmic manner for a fairly lengthy period of time. This builds strength and endurance, keeps the heart strong and improves circulation. Cardio workouts are also a lot of fun and can include walking, hiking, dancing, cycling, swimming and other active pursuits.
Seniors who enjoy cardio activities two or three times a week can avoid problems such as shortness of breath. Furthermore, active seniors can be more active thanks to the boost in energy cardiovascular exercise provides. More strength and energy means more independence, and that's always a good thing.


Strength Is Not Just For The Young


It's smart for seniors to stay strong as they age. Heavy weightlifting isn't necessary. Seniors can build up a surprising amount of strength with light workouts using elastic bands, free weights or even resistance provided by body weight or by pursuing disciplines such as Hatha Yoga.


Staying strong and building up some muscle mass helps seniors have strong bones. It also improves balance. The combination of better balance and stronger bones means fewer falls and fewer injuries. The combination of cardiovascular training and power training can help seniors perform necessary tasks such as carrying groceries, opening stubborn containers, crossing streets and so on with ease and grace. Being strong is a great way to stay independent!


Staying Flexible Reduces Pain & Injuries


Seniors who practice Yoga and/or Pilates, go swimming or simply engage in stretching activities enjoy greater flexibility and reduced joint pain. Stretching improves muscle strength and support around the joints and helps prevent inflammation and injuries. Staying flexible helps seniors maintain full range of motion to perform activities of daily living such as dressing, tying shoes, washing hair and bathing and more effortlessly.


Maintain Good Balance To Avoid Injury & Stay Independent


Yoga also helps seniors maintain a good sense of balance to avoid falls and enhance exercise ability and enjoyment of life. Other activities that help with balance include Tai Chi and simple posture exercises. Involvement in these activities also helps seniors maintain good posture throughout life.


Enjoyable Activities Add Spice & Health To Later Life


It can be fun to sign up for exercise classes and/or join clubs and groups for exercise, socializing and activities, but seniors who prefer to exercise alone or with a friend can reap many benefits from walking. It's an excellent way to begin and exercise program and a complete exercise in and of itself. Seniors can walk outdoors, in malls or just about anywhere. A comfortable pair of shoes is all that's needed.


Seniors who do enjoy joining classes and groups usually have quite a few to choose from. Most local senior centers have dance and exercise classes for seniors that provide wonderful opportunities for exercise.


Swimming, water sports and water aerobics can be exciting and energizing while providing a wonderful workout. Water workouts are perfect for seniors (especially those who are overweight) because the water helps support the body and reduces pressure, strain and stress on the joints.


Yoga can be performed successfully by anyone. It consists of an array of poses that stretch and strengthen the body. Controlled breathing is an important aspect of yoga, and it strengthens the lungs and oxygenates the body. Yoga practice can be modified to be suitable for people of any level of ability.


Seniors who are up for a little more challenge and want to work on strength and balance can take courses in Qi Gong and/or Tai Chi. These gentle martial arts have been practiced by seniors in China for centuries.


Maintaining health and fitness in the senior years is a wonderful way for older people to stay independent and enjoy life. There are many affordable or free choices in fitness activities for seniors. Every moment an older person spends maintaining balance, strength, flexibility and good health increases both longevity and quality of life.

Copyright:SuzanneBennett:December 18, 2014

Comments

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  • Glenis Rix profile image

    GlenR 

    3 years ago from UK

    My father died recently, at the age of 91. He was a very keen gardener - out from dawn till dusk until his eighties and still pottering around until a couple of days before he passed. Gardening is great for both body and spirit.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    3 years ago from Texas

    I do chores outside every afternoon and also do a thorough stretching routine before I go to bed. It really doesn't take a lot of exercise to stay flexible and functionally fit. Again, the key is consistency! :D

  • MarleneB profile image

    Marlene Bertrand 

    3 years ago from USA

    I use to teach dance and aerobics when it became popular. Now that I am sixty years old, I don't move as well. But one thing I can verify is that the more active we stay, the fewer aches and pains we experience. Now, instead of dancing, I garden.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    3 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! :)

  • Rangoon House profile image

    AJ 

    3 years ago from Australia

    You are so right - this is common sense, and yet so many still ignore the sound wisdom. I hope your message spreads far.

  • dghbrh profile image

    deergha 

    3 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

    Very useful hub here. Ageing gracefully and enjoying life as it comes really defines our perspectives about our own lifestyle. Through proper work out and systematically maintained diets lead us to a happy mental life. I am about to be forty now and I have started long ago this mind set that I gotta be ageing gracefully accepting a well balanced life style. A regular work out mixed with yoga, pillates and stretching combinations , walk, practicing classical dance forms and a well balanced diet with proper hours of sleep with a stress free mind is what my aim is to go ahead in life. With proper systematic physical activities it is important also to maintain a mental balance and that i prefer to do with writing, reading, painting etc.

    I fell down three years ago and got hurt myself on my right ankle but with time and continuous exercise I could gain the strength again to continue with my dancing.

    I really loved reading your hub here. Sharing and voted up.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    3 years ago from Texas

    Thanks for mentioning that book (mentioned in another HUB) Peggy! I had totally forgotten that I intended to come back to this HUB and add Amazon products, videos and that book from the National Health Institute! :D

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    3 years ago from Texas

    Oh, I ride horses (and get thrown by them) ride my bicycle and walk for transportation and exercise every day. That's aging gracefully, in my opinion. What is NOT aging gracefully is accepting creeping disability as par for the course, having cosmetic surgery done in an attempt to look artificially younger and so on. Good on ya on the rollerblades. That's a great way to stay fit! :)

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 

    3 years ago from Oakley, CA

    ;) Age gracefully? I refuse! I'm fighting every step of the way. That's why, this year, with my knee replacement surgery 2 years behind me, I'm determined to get back on my rollerblades! So there! ;-)

    I also study karate!

    Voted up, useful and interesting.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    3 years ago from Texas

    Well, I think it's wonderful that our tax dollars are being spent to educate people about health and fitness. It's certainly preferable to oil subsidies and waging war on the Middle East! I have shared the books with my neighbors (many middle aged ladies) and my relatives, and we are all enjoying them and heeding their good advice.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    3 years ago from Houston, Texas

    That is amazing that you received all of those books for free instead of the brochures you were expecting. I guess we can see where some of our tax dollars are being spent. Hope everyone that receives them takes full advantage of the information.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    3 years ago from Texas

    Thanks Peggy! You know, when I was researching this article I visited the National Institute of Health website. They have a lot of wonderful publications that people can get for free. I ordered a dozen of what I thought would be a brochure on fitness for seniors, and about a month later I received a big box full of beautiful books! Their publication is really excellent, and it's absolutely free! They have quite a few free resources that people can take advantage of.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    3 years ago from Houston, Texas

    You are correct in what you wrote. Exercise is important at every age but particularly important as we age so as to maintain mobility, etc.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    3 years ago from Texas

    Very true indeed! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  • FitnessProDee profile image

    Dana Gore 

    3 years ago

    Great hub....and so true.

    Anyone of any age would benefit from an exercise program....and it's never too late.

    The body can be incredibly forgiving - and regardless of age or starting place, there is something available for everyone.

    Voted up, interesting and useful :)

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    3 years ago from Texas

    Yes, I agree. You can have a lot more control over your own health, well-being and happiness when you set up good health habits.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Getting older can be an issue if allow that number to bother you. I believe in staying fit and healthy and feeling good from the inside should matter the most for everyone.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR

    justmesuzanne 

    3 years ago from Texas

    Thank you so much for your kind and wise words. I actually just tossed this article out there and planned to come back and tweak it later. I am flattered that you wanted to read it and comment on it in this simple state! :D

    Yes, absolutely! Staying active is extremely important. I walk, cycle, practice yoga and ride horseback to stay fit. It is my goal to stay completely healthy until I die in my sleep. :)

  • RoadMonkey profile image

    RoadMonkey 

    3 years ago

    This is so true. It is VERY important to stay active as you get older, including strength exercises. I had two falls in my 60s (pushing a car and the step slipped on the gym floor) and both times, I just bounced(ouch), no broken bones thank goodness. The second one could have meant a broken hip as I fell on my "cheek"!

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