Exercise Programs For Seniors
As the human body grows older, a number of problems arise. First, muscles start to disappear as body fat increases. Secondly, the body’s metabolism reduces considerably, and this is what contributes to the increase in body fat. The end result is reduced mobility and low fitness levels, which is the precursor for a wide range of health problems, including; obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The last two are the leading causes of deaths in the country. However, it is not all gloom as these health issues can easily be dealt with. All you need is a healthy diet and some exercise. The CDC recommends a total of 150 minutes of exercise per week for people who are over 65 years old.
Fitness Goals for the Elderly
The fitness objectives of the elderly are much different from those of younger adults. For one, they may not necessarily need to improve their physique. Secondly, the elderly do not need to have bulging muscles. Their goals include; maintaining a healthy weight, burning calories, improving flexibility, maintaining their balance and improving their body strength. These objectives can easily be met with the 150-minute weekly workout program.
The Best Exercises for Seniors
The best exercise programs for seniors recommend the following exercises; swimming, walking, water aerobics and cycling. These are low impact exercises that improve not only flexibility and balance but also strength. They also help to burn calories. It is important to note that since seniors cannot burn calories at the same rate as younger people, dietary changes are crucial in maintaining a healthy body. For one, most foods that are packed with carbohydrates, such as rice and pastries should either be avoided or minimized. Seniors should know that most protein and vitamin sources still contain some carbohydrates, which can meet their daily energy needs.
Recommended Exercise Program for Seniors
A typical workout program for seniors takes 150 hours and five days to complete. Two days of the week should be left for rest.
Monday – As you start the week, consider taking a 15-minute leisurely walk around the neighborhood in the mid-morning. Before the mid-morning walk, you can do something constructive, like irrigating the lawn, before you put on some comfortable shoes and go for a walk. In the afternoon, you should go for another 15-minute walk. This will help to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. This makes it 30 minutes, leaving you with another 120 minutes to exercise before the weekends.
Tuesday – On Tuesday, you should go for another 15-minute walk in the mid morning and another in the afternoon, but try to increase the pace to ensure you cover a longer distance. This will bring the total workout time for the week to 60 minutes, leaving 90-minutes for the rest of the week.
Wednesday – In the middle of the week, you can go for a 30-minute swim, water aerobics or cycling session. Zumba is also a great option. These exercises are great for building strength and improving both your balance and flexibility.
Thursday – A lot of exercise without rest is not healthy, so you should take a break to rest every Thursday.
Friday – At the end of the week, seniors should go for long walks. This can be a 30-minute walk at the park or two 15-minute walks around the neighborhood.
Saturday – Weekends are always great for fun outdoor activities, so seniors should consider going for a 30-minute Zumba, water aerobics, swimming or cycling session. This brings the total workout time to the recommended 150-minutes. Sundays should be reserved for rest, but getting together with family or going to church are also great options.
As you can see, the recommended exercises for adults are low-impact exercises, so the number of calories burned are minimal. Therefore, the best option for preventing weight gain is a change of diet. More vegetables and fruits should be introduced as protein and carbohydrate portions are reduced. Alcohol consumption should also be reduced as the amount of water consumed per day is increased. Regular health checks with the family doctor are also recommended.