By Carla Adamic, The Reutlinger Community
According to one expert on aging, “If exercise could be put in a pill, it would be the number one anti-aging medicine and the number one anti-depression medicine.” Yes, exercise is essential at any age, but for the elderly, activity is more important than ever.
An exercise plan that is geared for a senior’s individual ability can improve strength, energy, and appetite. It also benefits cognitive abilities as well as providing a boost to mood and memory.
Gentle exercise programs, such as stretching are especially suited for seniors. These exercises improve balance, range of motion, and coordination. The slow, fluid movements of exercise similar to Tai Chi provide a sense of peace and relaxation while strengthening muscle control and balance.
Even seniors who use a wheelchair or who have limited mobility can exercise. Stretching exercises can be done while in a chair, and the use of light hand weights can improve cardiovascular health and muscle tone. Water exercise is excellent for the elderly.
For the more active senior, group activities such as line dancing and low-impact aerobics classes couple a higher level of exercise with the inspiration of a social setting.
Find a senior center or senior living community that offers these types of activities and physical therapy services. You goal is to maintain or regain your mobility as you age, especially if you are in a short term-rehabilitation program.
There are exercise options for every senior’s ability level. Find a program that works and stick with it. Find a senior living community with onsite physical therapy and a fitness center. You’ll soon be happy with the results. There are no age limits to fitness.