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Staying Social While Getting Fit: 5 Tips for Seniors

Updated on January 17, 2017

Staying Social While Getting Fit: 5 Tips for Seniors

Staying active and getting fit should be priorities for seniors because it boosts energy, increases your ability to stay independent longer, helps protect your heart, helps manage your weight, and increases your flexibility. Countless studies have shown that regular exercise benefits your mind, memory, and mood. And, staying social while getting fit is a good way for seniors to stay motivated and stave off loneliness and depression, too. Our five tips for seniors who want to stay social while getting fit will set you on the path toward well-being and wellness as you age.

1. Find an Exercise Buddy

One of the best ways to get fit and stay social is to find an exercise buddy. Maybe it’s your best friend, maybe it’s your neighbor, or maybe it’s someone you recently met at a different social gathering. No matter whom you choose, make sure it is someone that you like and trust so that you are not self-conscious getting fit with them. You’ll also be more likely to try new fitness activities if you do them with a friend. So, go ahead and sign up for that dance fitness class or that water aerobics class you were hesitant to join by yourself and have fun spending healthy time with your friend.

2. Join a Dancing Group

There are so many opportunities for seniors who love to go dancing, even if you don’t have a dance partner to go with you. Churches, senior centers, health centers, and dance studios offer several dancing classes for seniors and include everything from line dancing and square dancing to ballroom dancing. Other dance classes such as salsa, jazz, tap, martial arts style dance, and chair aerobics are great for seniors because of their low-impact aerobics routines.

Dancing increases your heart rate and builds aerobic endurance, and you’ll feel more comfortable doing other fitness activities and going about your daily activities once you start doing consistent exercise at a dancing group. Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily for seniors to burn calories, work the heart, boost energy levels, improve your mood, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Some studies suggest dancing can improve your memory, too.

One surefire way to stay social while getting fit is to invite your grandchildren to your home for some active fun. You’ll be setting a good example for them, and you’ll get a chance to reminisce and talk about your favorite hobbies, such as fishing, restoring classic cars, or listening to music. If you have some gym equipment at home, you’ll enjoy lifting weights and building strength with your grandchildren. They will be able to spot you and show you some safe ways to use your muscles and eventually improve your ability to carry groceries, climb stairs, and get out of chairs.

4. Sign Up for a Yoga Class

Flexibility and balance are important for seniors who are afraid of falling as they age. Yoga is a good solution to improve both flexibility and balance, and a beginner class is appropriate for seniors who are looking to do just that. Invite your exercise buddy to a class or sign up and find a friend already in attendance. You may find that the class is full of people who share your interests and will become fast friends.

5. Prepare and Eat Healthy Meals with Friends

Studies show that people who share meals with other people eat less than those who eat alone. If you prepare and eat healthy meals with a friend or loved one, you’ll get social and improve your wellness at the same time. Consider having a lunch or dinner date at least twice a week with someone and take turns hosting so you get a chance to get out of the house.

If you don’t know how to cook healthy meals, sign up for a cooking class at a local community center to participate in even more social engagement. Ask your friends or family members if they’d like to go along so you can widen your circle of healthy meal options.

Seniors are living longer, and it is important for them to make healthy choices and engage in fitness activities as much as possible so they can remain independent and strong. Getting fit with others helps seniors stay motivated to continue their healthy lifestyle and try new activities.

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