How activity helps seniors stay in shape physically and mentally
Aging shouldn’t systematically be associated with illness or loss of independence. While we can’t stop time from passing, there are many simple things we can do to stay healthy as we age so we can continue enjoying life to the fullest!
The key to staying in shape is to remain physically and mentally active. The World Health Organization (WHO) affirms that physical activity can reduce the risk of falls, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Just because we get older, it doesn’t mean we have to stop moving!
Physical activity for seniors: where to begin?
First of all, it’s essential to consult your physician before taking up any new sport. If you have aches and pains or problems with mobility, it’s important to choose an activity that’s suitable for your condition.
Consulting a kinesiologist or physical therapist is a good way to initiate an exercise program that will address your needs.
Are you just eager to get started?
- Take a walk around the block one or more times a day.
- Do stretches while you’re watching TV.
- Lift water bottles to work out your arms.
- Dance while cooking your favorite dishes.
Suggestions for remaining active in the summer
- Go swimming! It’s not only refreshing when the weather’s warm but also a gentle way of toning your muscles and reinforcing your respiratory and cardiovascular capacities.
- Walk to the grocery store.
- Explore new bike paths, whether alone or with friends.
- Visit new neighborhoods and parks or take a trip to the water’s edge.
Suggestions for remaining active in the winter
- Many senior centers offer pleasant activities to help you remain active. They could also give you a perfect opportunity to make new friends.
- Try an indoor sport, such as water aerobics, yoga for seniors or an evening of bowling.
- Go on hikes during the fall or spring.
- Get an exercise video so you can work out in the comfort of your own living room.
How much movement is the right amount?
It’s recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, which amounts to a little over 20 minutes per day. You can even split it up into little five- or ten-minute chunks, if you prefer.
If your condition permits, try to move vigorously enough so you start to work up a sweat.
Activity for seniors: how to preserve cognitive abilities
According to Max Cynader from the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health in Vancouver, “The secret to increasing brain function is growing neurons.”
While we’re on the topic, did you know that Swedish researchers have discovered that neurons have the capacity to regenerate? “But how?” you may be asking yourself.
- Physical exercise: exercise has a positive effect on both physical and mental health.
- A good night’s sleep: getting enough sleep is essential for conserving your capacity for concentration and for memorizing information.
- Social interaction: forming bonds with others stimulates the brain and protects you against cognitive decline.
- Intellectually stimulating activities: whether reading, card games, board games, puzzles, writing, learning another language or learning to play a musical instrument, the list is endless!
Elite Comfort, your partner for a healthy life!
Do you need care and companionship to improve the quality of your day-to-day life? Whether you need nutritional advice, help with household chores or someone to assist you when you walk, our team is here to help you!