The health benefits of physical activity can’t only be reaped by following an Iron Man training. According to research, seniors can do these five exercises to help them maintain muscle mass, boost the health of the heart, and improve balance.
Walking can provide substantial health benefits. Aside from being a means of getting from point A to point B, research has shown walking can:
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve your mood
- Ease joint pain
- Curb your sweet tooth
- Reduce your risk of diabetes
- Boost immune function
Walking is just free. You can do it just about anywhere without the need for any equipment or membership.
Dancing is one of the best workouts for your body and mind. In a recent study involving adults aged 60 to 70, researchers compared the effects of dancing to stretching, toning and walking. After a six-month period, they found that only dancing slowed the degeneration of cerebral white matter, a process that connected with cognitive decline. These unique benefits are mainly because of the physical, mental, and social challenges of dancing. Moreover, research also shows that dancing can help curb anxiety and even boost happiness through social bonding.
Strength training doesn’t have to involve pumping iron in a sweaty gym. You can just have a bodyweight exercise routine from the comfort of your own home.
Some of the health benefits of strength training are:
- Increase muscle mass
- Increase metabolism and reduce body fat
- Strengthen bones
- Improve balance
- Improve brain function
- Help manage chronic conditions including arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression, and diabetes
Tai chi helps build balance, strength, and flexibility with a minimal impact on your joints. It can be done anywhere – in your home, at the gym or in the park. You can do it in a group or individually once you learn the moves and the routine.
Aside from improving balance, tai chi is also great for the mind. It puts you into a state of meditative flow as its slow and deliberate movements demand exacting concentration.
You can include it as one (or both) of your two strength training exercises each week.
Swimming gives you the best of both worlds. It does a body good in a number of ways, ticking both strength training and aerobic goals.
Studies found that swimming can reduce stress, improve your mood, and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Swimming is considered to be a perfect total body workout as it works all the major muscle groups (shoulders, chest, abdominals, legs, and back). It can be done either individually or socially.