Fitness For Seniors – What Seniors Should Take Care Of

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Periodically we allow FitSW users to submit guest blog posts.  Today’s guest blog post is by Wendy D who discusses Fitness For Seniors and what seniors should take care of when it comes to fitness and health:

It’s never too old to get in shape. As seniors age, many fall into the mindset that they should be cutting back on their physical activity levels. This is a mistake and one that leads to many health risks. While many seniors worry about pain, weight gain, or injuring themselves, that shouldn’t hold them back from living an active lifestyle.

Getting active is the best way to stay healthy as you enter your golden years. Not only is a higher activity shown to increase energy levels, but it will protect your heart and keep your weight in check. Your health is your most valuable asset, so don’t lose it to a sedentary lifestyle! Here’s what you need to focus on when it comes to your fitness as you age and how a personal trainer can help you.

 

Active Senior Cyclist - Fitness for Seniors
Getting active is the best way to stay healthy during the golden years

Finding Health Insurance

Your first step to health and fitness as you age is to create a plan for health insurance coverage. WIthout health insurance, you’re always one mistake away from a financial and health catastrophe. Whether you find insurance under the federal program Medicare, designed specifically for those 65 and older, or you opt for a private plan, make sure you’re prepared for anything. Learn here from overview of each of the parts which of the 4 plans is most suitable for you and how to get the best health coverage for your needs so you can make your health a priority.

The best way to prepare is to prepare early. Medicare enrollment starts a few months before your 65th birthday and continues a few months after. If you miss this enrollment period, you’re subject to fees and other complications. Don’t delay when it comes to your own health insurance.

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Fitness for Seniors

A British study reveals that seniors who study for at least 3 hours a week are more likely to live longer. Yet, so many aging people still avoid things like strength training, cardio, and aerobics. This sedentary lifestyle shortens your lifespan and wrecks your quality of life. If you want to be fit, you don’t have to commit to an over the top fitness routine. Instead, look at these easy ways to stay in shape as you age.

Swimming

Swimming has long been the best full-body workout you can do for your own health. It’s perfect for all bodies, but especially for seniors since it’s easy on your muscles and joints. You can do a water aerobics class, swim laps or even just spend time in the water. As long as you’re moving, you’re staying active.

Yoga

Another option for seniors is yoga. While this is a more holistic approach to fitness, yoga is a great way to build muscle strength, work on your balance, and maintain mobility, all important things as you age. Like swimming, yoga is low impact. It’s a gentle way to get moving every day, and it’s easy to get started.

fitness for seniors active activity adult
Yoga is a great low impact activity for seniors.

Bodyweight Training

Severe muscle loss is a serious issue as you age. The best way to combat this is to regularly work with your bodyweight to train strength back into those tired muscles. You don’t need to lift anything crazy to feel the effects, and it’s perfectly acceptable to start small with exercises like squats, single-leg stands, and stair climbing.  A personal trainer is the perfect person to guide you.

Beware of Injury

While staying active is a must, you also need to be vigilant about preventing injury. Common injuries for seniors include broken bones, torn tendons, and sprains. While most injuries are minor, it’s best to avoid them if possible.

Here are some valuable tips for staying safe while you get active:

  • Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new routine.
  • Don’t just do one activity. Instead, find a balanced exercise plan that strengthens your whole body. A personal trainer can really help here.
  • Always warm up and cool down before and after your activity.
  • Work out regularly to avoid stiff muscles.
  • Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too far.  Personal trainers can develop plans that work your muscles the right amount.

A little bit of self-awareness goes a long way in the fitness world. It’s okay to start small and to build your plan as you gain confidence. Never push your body harder than it can go, and seek medical help immediately if you notice a problem.

Staying Healthy

We all want to live long, healthy lives. With an active lifestyle, it’s completely possible to maintain fitness for seniors. Don’t succumb to a sedentary lifestyle as you age. Get out there and enjoy the best life has to offer, whether that means taking yoga classes are going for a walk every day. Even small steps equal great strides for your health.

Add Dancing To Your Fitness Routine To Stay In Shape

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Periodically we allow FitSW users to submit guest blog posts.  Today’s guest blog post is by Wendy D who discusses adding dancing to a fitness routine:

Fitness Routine Coach Dance Dancing
Photo credit: Michael Zittel

We all want to be fit and healthy. We may not get it right 100% of the time, but we watch what we eat. It’s not too hard to drink plenty of water, and we get our rest. But there is one area that holds us back, and that is exercise. Exercise is a very important part of your fitness routine. But it is hard to fit something into your busy schedule that you really don’t want to do.

When we are inactive, our muscles suffer. You can be small in size, and still be unfit, if your muscles are underdeveloped. Your bones will respond to the demands you put on it. But, if you do not exercise enough, your bones weaken. With age, they grow brittle and osteoarthritis can set in. This is painful and life-altering.

Reasons people avoid exercise

Some people love to exercise. You see runners in the parks, people playing tennis, basketball, and jogging. Others easily find a reason not to do so. For them, exercising is time consuming, boring, difficult to learn and get used to or they just say that it costs too much money for the items you need.

Let’s look at these reasons, realistically.

It’s time consuming – According to the Mayo Clinic, you only need to exercise 30 minutes per day to maintain your fitness level, and a little more if you want to lose a few pounds. Truthfully, how many of us have waited 30 minutes for our specialty drink at Starbucks?

It’s boring – If the exercise you have chosen is boring, it is not your thing. Keep looking and find an exercise you enjoy to add to your fitness routine. (We will talk more about this later.)

It’s difficult to learn – While some things are harder to learn than others, nothing that you really want to learn is too difficult.  Again, if you do not enjoy the exercise enough to work for it, it is just not what you are looking for.

It cost too much money – It is rare to find any activity that does not cost something. You have to weigh the pros and the cons.  

Fitness Routine Action Adult Dance Dancer
Photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/action-adult-dance-dancer-270837/

Dance in your Fitness Routine

You may have never danced, but that is okay. Most people who join a dance class have not. There are many forms of dance, so you are sure to find one that you like.  Dance class is usually once per week, so it is not too time consuming and can fit nicely into a fitness routine. But the best thing, is you can turn on your favorite CD and dance your heart out at home.

Expenses

The expense you will incur will be very reasonable. You might need a leotard or tights. If you are learning hip-hop the instructor will tell you. There is a fee for joining the class, and there is one item that is a must for every dancer. You must wear the right shoes.

Hip-hop (and other dancers) dance in sneakers. If you decide to take up dancing, Just for Kix has high quality sneakers for dance  More formal dancers wear ballet shoes. Footwear is important, for two reasons:

  • A dancers shoe may look like something you see at the local department store, but they are not. Shoes can help protect you from injury. They fit differently, and they are secure. Imagine the pain you would feel if you did a spin and jump, and your shoes were stuck to the floor. Your body is in motion and when the shoe moves, it is not going to be in the correct position. This could cause injury.
  • The second reason is that street shoes can damage the dance floor. You may not see the tiny scratches and surface damage your shoes are causing but sometime someone can hit those spots and could get hurt. 

Take some friends and go check out a local dance facility. Dance is one of the most effective and productive exercise you will ever find.