To boost health, men who are aged 65 years old or older should try to be physically active by doing strength and aerobic exercises. Ideally, they should be doing at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise every week. If they walk or cycle on a regular basis, they can work their legs, arms, hips, back, chest, shoulders, abdomen, and other major muscle groups, lower their risk of injuries and diseases, and improve their overall health and wellbeing.
The following are examples of simple exercise routines that you can do to be healthy and in shape even if you are older:
Walking is a very senior-friendly exercise that offers a long list of health benefits. It can be done at different levels of intensity, is not tasking on the joints, does not put you at high risk of injuries, and is quite easy to get into. It can also be an effective way to burn calories and work your heart to help you lose weight and have a healthy and well-functioning cardiovascular system.
If you are a beginner, you can start by taking moderate-paced walks for about 20 to 30 minutes every other day. That way, you can acclimatize yourself to the additional physical activity in your routine. Over time, you should increase the speed of your walks, and cover longer distances to strengthen your body even more. You should also try to add variety by climbing stairs, doing hills, and others.
Having strong arms as an older person is a great asset. They allow you to do a wide variety of tasks without needing the assistance of others. They can help you carry boxes and other stuff that have to be moved around the house, and let you do repairs and other chores for maintenance and cleaning. They can also make shopping, playing sports, and other social activities more fun and enjoyable.
For older people, there are many kinds of arm curl exercises that they can try to improve their arm muscles. Below are some examples:
- bicep curls – to work the upper portion of the arms and the elbows, and make lifting things not as hard as before
- overhead elbow extension exercises – to tone and strengthen your upper arm muscles, and boost your ability to raise your arms, which is useful when having to get something from your upper kitchen cupboard or the topmost shelf in your closet
- overhead press exercise – to work the back and shoulder muscles, giving your shoulders and neck better mobility
Many old people suffer from tight hip flexors due to long periods of just sitting down. They have a hard time moving around because the muscles in that part of their bodies have become stiff as a result of prolonged inactivity. Even simple tasks, such as lifting their knees, have become such a chore. To avoid that from happening to you, you should start doing some squats. With squats, you can improve both your lower body and your upper body, stretch your calves and hips, and also improve your posture.
To squat, get into a standing position, and then lower your body by bending your knees and hips. Make sure to push out your butt as you lower yourself, similar to what you do when you sit. Think of squatting as like sitting on an invisible chair. Then, raise both of your hands in front of you, parallel to the ground. Hold that position for as long as you can, and then slowly stand up. As a beginner, you can start by doing 12 to 15 reps everyday.
Push-ups are an all-around exercise that says a lot about your fitness level. The number of push-ups you can do at a given time can serve as a measurement of stamina, endurance, and strength. For seniors, they can be a way to boost muscle memory, upper body strength, balance, and heart health.
When doing push-ups, quality should be prioritized over quantity. Do not be so concerned about a number. Rather, you should focus on keeping the right form from start to finish. To do push-ups, you get into a full plank position, with your back straight, and your arms extended and pushing you up. Lower your body to the ground by bending your elbows, and then push back up again. At the start, you might not be able to do many. It could only be five or even just two. There is no use making a big deal out of that, because over time, as your body gains strength, you should be able to do more.
Many old people encounter problems with their legs due to lack of exercise. If you spend the majority of your day sitting or lying down, your leg muscles start to lose their mass and strength, and you will find it difficult to even just move one step. Cramps, weakness, pain, tingling, numbness, or swelling may eventually occur more frequently, and these can signify some underlying medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.
To protect your legs, you should regularly perform leg raises. For a few minutes of your time a day, you can do some good leg raise exercises, such as:
- ankle circles – to boost the flexibility of your ankles
- knee extensions – to improve your balance and your knee’s ability to support your weight
- calf raises – to strengthen your calves for more power when climbing up stairs or hills, or walking on uneven terrain
- hip marches – to stretch your thighs and hip flexor so that you can strengthen your core and develop better posture
- lunges – to work your hips and quadriceps for improved balance and lifting abilities
- hip extensions – to tone your hip muscles and improve the strength of your hip joint for a better ability to walk and stronger support when walking up the stairs