The Benefits Of Exercising For Seniors (And Some Helpful Tips)

Thursday, July 11th, 2019
exercise at the BFIT gym can benefit health and well being in seniors

For seniors, staying active is important for overall health. Most people exercise to lose weight or bulk up, but fitness offers many health benefits that aren’t visible, including the following.

Exercise and Disability or Illness

It is common to experience a decline in health as one ages. Exercise can help prevent certain illnesses and disabilities, at least for a time. If you already have a diagnosis of a medical condition, exercising can help you manage the symptoms and even improve. Diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure are some of the most common conditions that can be helped by exercise.

Exercising and Your Brain

Staying active will help your brain stay fit, as well as your body. Exercising is known to help decrease the chances of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Taking the time to jog or walk can help your brain stay active, help with memory, and increase your creative skills. Physical exercise can even help you avoid depression.

Anyone can Exercise

You don’t have to be able to lift 100 pounds or run a marathon to get the benefits of an exercise routine. Low-impact exercises are great for seniors because they increase flexibility, muscle strength, balance, and stamina. Some of the best low-impact exercises for seniors include walking, Pilates, Tai Chi, swimming, yoga, and indoor cycling.

Exercising Tips

Physical activity will begin to affect you differently as you age, especially after 50. If you aren’t aware of those changes, you could end up injuring yourself. The rules of fitness will change and you will benefit from following those new recommendations.

The Important Warm-Up

Warming up before a workout is vital as it can raise your heart rate, prepare your muscles, and increase circulation. It will also increase the elasticity of your tendons. Be sure to warm up the muscles you are going to use for a specific exercise, or perform some light cardio, beforehand.

Stretching

When you were younger, you may have stretched a few times a week before or after workouts. When you are older, stretching becomes more of a necessity. It is important to maintain flexibility by stretching after exercising. A total body stretch two or three times a week is also beneficial.

From Cardio to Resistance Training

After the age of 50, your muscle mass and bone density decrease. Although cardio and strength training are important, it’s helpful to also focus on your muscles and bones. A complete exercise routine includes both.

Interval Training is Valuable

Cardio helps with burning fat as well as keeping your heart healthy. Rather than doing cardio exercises for a long period of time, try interval training. This involves doing more intense exercises with rest periods in between.

Your Changing Workout Schedule

For younger people, it may only take a day to recover from exercise. Many people even choose to switch workouts out each day. They may focus on legs one day and arms the next. But if you are 50 or older, your recovery time will increase. This is because your muscles and tissues need more time to recover. The time you take between exercising will depend on your health and comfort levels.

Talk to Your Doctor First

If you are not already active, you should speak with a physician before beginning to exercise. If you have heart disease, joint conditions, cancer, heart issues, and other health conditions, it is very important to talk to your doctor.

  • The following may be indicators of serious health problems that can become worse with activity.
  • Shortness of breath or dizziness when performing daily activities like getting out of bed or walking
  • Pain in your chest, neck, jaw, or arms when at rest or exercising
  • Swelling in the extremities, especially during the night
  • A rapid heartbeat or a known heart murmur

The Benefits of a Gym Membership

Many people get their best workouts in a professional facility. Gyms are popular throughout the country, so there are plenty to choose from. Most have updated equipment, fun classes, and trainers to keep you on track. But, not every gym is tailored to seniors.

The Bift Gym in Amarillo, Texas

The Bfit Gym in Amarillo was created for outpatient rehabilitation and seniors who want to stay in shape. Staff are friendly, professional, and experienced, as well as focused on each member. If you are 55 or over, and have graduated from our outpatient therapy program, our relaxed environment will tempt you to sign up for a gym membership that you will actually keep.

To learn more about outpatient therapy at Bift, contact Bivins Pointe today. You can reach us at (806) 350-2200 or email us for more information. We offer inpatient rehabilitation and a luxury neighborhood for long-term care as well!