Best Exercises for Seniors

Exercise is important for people of all ages.

Some people feel that once they reach a certain age, they no longer need to worry about exercise. But exercise is important for everyone, no matter how old you are, and arguably, exercise becomes even more important as you age. When you don't use your muscles, they start to lose their strength, and when your muscles get weaker, it puts you at a higher risk for falling.  Exercise also helps to build muscle that supports your joints, and it's an essential part of your keeping your heart working properly. At Salem Lutheran Homes & Rehabilitation Center, we offer long-term care with an aim to keep our residents independent, and exercising on a regular basis is a very important part of that. However, we also know that, as you age, it can be tricky to find exercises that work for you. That's why we've come up with this list of the best exercises for seniors:

#1. Walking

Walking is the perfect, low-impact exercise for people of varying fitness levels. Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise, and it helps you get outside in the sunshine, which has many benefits of its own. Start out walking about a mile a day, and slowly add a little more distance each time you go.

#2. Dancing

Dancing is one of the best workouts there is, because not only is it fun, but it also burns lots of calories! Dancing is such a great workout for seniors because it works so many muscles and helps to maintain and improve your balance. One study has even found that seniors who dance are less likely to fall than those who don't. According to the Mayo Clinic, dancing even stimulates brain activity, so it's an exercise that is beneficial for your body and mind!

#3. Tai Chi

Tai chi is incredibly gentle; in fact, it's often referred to as "moving meditation." Tai chi practitioners move slowly and purposefully through a series of movements that are accompanied by deep breathing. The benefits of practicing tai chi range from stress relief to reducing pain in individuals who suffer from arthritis. It has even been shown to improve memory and increase the volume of the brain in older adults.

#4. Yoga

Yoga, like tai chi, is performed slowly and deliberately, with an emphasis on moving with the breath. There are many different forms of yoga, and it is even ideal for people with very little mobility because it can even be done in a chair. Yoga has been shown to ease chronic back pain, strengthen muscles that improve balance and so much more.

#5. Pilates

Pilates is based around flexibility and core strength. Because of the core strength involved in pilates, it helps you build muscles that support your spine and improve your balance. Plus, pilates can easily be modified to fit your needs, making it ideal for people with varying physical limitations. Regardless of which exercise you choose to do, make it a part of your regular routine. Contact us today to learn more about how Salem Lutheran Homes & Rehabilitation Center can help you maintain your independence.

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