Getting older has its shares of ups and downs. One thing that usually fits into the latter category is fitness, with people’s bodies starting to defy them with age.
This can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re passionate about keeping active. Luckily, there are still plenty of physical activities you can enjoy that don’t require you to be as nimble as you might have once been.
When it comes to physical exercise, people walk more than anything else. It’s such a common thing to do that you might not think it offers many benefits. However, a lot of good can come from walking every day, from burning calories to keeping your joints flexible. You also get the advantages of spending time in the fresh air, which definitely can’t be overlooked for those in their advanced years. No matter your level of fitness, this sociable activity is accessible for almost everyone, and you can get some pretty good views too if you walk in the right places.
Flexibility can be difficult to maintain with age, especially if you’re not the most active person. Luckily, you can quickly change that if you take up yoga. All that bending will have your joints as good as new in no time, although we can’t promise you’ll be able to twist yourself into whatever position you desire. Yoga can push your body to achieve things you never thought possible, which can have a positive impact on your physical fitness. The deep breathing and calming atmosphere could do great things for your mental wellbeing too.
It’s easy to lose touch with the wilderness in this modern age. That’s why bikepacking is such a good idea. A combination of mountain biking and camping, it allows you to become one with nature while getting in plenty of exercise. It’s more intensive than some of these other activities, but the scenic views are worth the extra effort. Plus, it doesn’t even take much to get started with bikepacking because all you really need is a good bike and the right camping gear. This is a great activity to do if you’re looking for more quality time with your family.
To the untrained eye, gardening probably doesn’t seem like a particularly strenuous activity. However, those who regularly tend to their yards know just how much of a workout it can be. Planting flowers and digging up weeds can really build up a sweat, all while still being an incredibly relaxing activity. The benefits of gardening include a range of physical improvements, such as increased strength and flexibility, with stress levels often reduced by the hobby too.
A lot of people tend to learn martial arts when they want to better defend themselves against others. However, there’s a lot that can be gained from such activities – tai chi, in particular – than just fighting off opponents. This low-intensity exercise can works wonders for a person’s balance and flexibility, two things that people often struggle with when they get older. The fact that it’s a very mindful activity is an added bonus, with the social element of the sport also good for mental wellbeing.
There are risks that come with any exercise you do, particularly when you’re a senior citizen. For those who are more vulnerable to falling over and hurting themselves, water aerobics is a great activity to take up. Not only does the water help people build up strength by providing resistance, but it also offers a cushion that stops them from falling. Add to that the social factor of water aerobics, plus the fact it’s designed to be fun, and the activity becomes hard to resist.
Considering the benefits of water aerobics, it makes sense that swimming is also a good activity for seniors to get involved in. A simple exercise that you can take at your own pace, it’s great for anyone whose joints aren’t what they used to be. Even those with conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis could find that swimming works well for them because of the amount of support the water provides. People with these issues may still struggle, but they’re likely to benefit more from this activity than some of the others mentioned.
Maintaining fitness in your senior years doesn’t have to be exhaustive. Sometimes, you can keep your body in good condition by doing something as basic as stretching every day. Taking the time to stretch out your various muscles regularly can be all you need to stop them from going slack. If you just want to keep yourself relatively flexible and mobile for as long as possible, this might be the only thing you need.
Our bodies may start to defy us when we get older, but that doesn’t mean fitness has to go out the window. There are so many activities available to people of all ages that staying active is always an option, whether you’re a spring chicken or not. However, make sure you listen to your body – and maybe your doctor, too – before jumping into anything.