5 fun, safe ways for seniors to get regular exercise
Use it or lose it definitely applies to the human body. A lack of activity can cause a rapid deterioration of muscles and bones along with an increase risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and back pain. We all know that exercise is a good thing, but excuses come easy.
Some of the most common reasons seniors avoid exercise is fear of falling, fear of aggravating preexisting aches and pains and a reluctance to change a routine. But regular exercise could help seniors reduce these fears by building strength and improving balance and mood.
If you want to incorporate exercise into your life, the most important catalyst is to choose activities you enjoy so you’re more likely to keep doing them.
Here are five ways to get in some exercise and have fun at the same time.
Be like Fred and Ginger
Taking dance lessons not only provides aerobic exercise but also helps improve gait and balance. Dancing also provides opportunities for social interaction, which can improve mood and reduce depression. Plus, you can take your new moves out on the town later.
Make a splash
Water workouts are a great low-impact exercise. Look for a water aerobics class or simply swim a few laps. Researchers have found that water aerobics is also good for reducing lower back pain.
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Taking a walk is great exercise, but cold or stormy weather can quickly hamper the experience. Walking in an indoor, climate-controlled mall can be pleasant and safer since the path is smooth and dry. Northbrook Court, for example, offers the Whitehall of Deerfield Mile-Walk, an indoor one-mile course on both floors of the mall with mile markers guiding walkers along the way.
Take a swing
Golf is a great way to build endurance while exercising. Carrying the golf bag, walking between holes and swinging the club add up to a cardiovascular, strength-building workout that can also be calming. Additionally, playing a friendly game with others also helps improve mood and strengthen important social ties.
Pump up the tires
Riding a bike is a great low-impact exercise option. Cycling strengthens leg muscles and improves balance. Plus, it’s a nice way to spend some time outdoors.
A time for focused fitness
Returning to regular exercise is especially important if you’ve had a medical issue. After hospitalization, recovery can be challenging. Not only are there medical concerns but also deconditioning issues from being inactive. Begin physical therapy as soon as possible to regain strength and balance. For many, the best place to receive this level of care is at a short-term care facility where there is an experienced team ready to address all medical needs and provide safe and effective physical therapy. Whitehall of Deerfield has earned a reputation for providing a superior recovery experience in a luxurious setting with physical, occupational and speech therapies offered in state-of-the-art gyms up to seven days a week.
Whitehall of Deerfield has consistently received Medicare’s highest rating in Medicare’s five-star rating system of nursing and post-hospital rehabilitation centers. Whitehall of Deerfield is also ranked among the top 1% of all Illinois post-hospital rehabilitation and nursing care centers by Newsweek — and has consistently received both U.S. News & World Report’s and Medicare’s highest five-star rating. Learn more about the individualized, one-on-one therapy programs, world-class amenities and COVID-19 safety measures by visiting WhitehallofDeerfield.com or calling 847-945-4600.
—Judy Buchenot for Whitehall of Deerfield