Three Fun Fitness Activities For Seniors
Fitness classes are a large part of the activities programs of any independent living or assisted living community today. From Wii Fit or Wii Bowling to organized classes led by trained instructors, seniors can find dozens of ways to keep moving.
Regular exercise helps people live longer, as well as offering the following benefits:
- Faster healing
- Better balance
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved mental agility
That’s right. Regular exercise is even good for your brain. Get started by learning more about some of these hot exercise trends that are easy enough for seniors and effective enough for everyone.
Yogalates may sound like the summer’s coolest frozen treat, but it’s actually an exercise that blends elements of yoga poses with the intense abdominal workout offered by Pilates. An earlier form, Yogilates, was created in 1997 by a certified Pilates instructor and personal trainer. Recently, Louise Solomon published “Yogalates,” a twist on the original exercise created by Jonathan Urla. But instructors, who are typically trained yoga or trained Pilates instructors, frequently create their own versions of the exercise.
Yogalates appeals to seniors and others who may find either yoga or Pilates alone too difficult. The blend offers better fat-burning and toning results than yoga, alone, but is less exhausting or and easier to do than straight Pilates.
With a doctor’s approval, the right guidance and a good instructor, Yogalates could be a good addition to your fitness program. If the idea appeals, ask your activities coordinator for help finding a good instructor who can visit your community or organizing a trip to classes at another location.
Tai chi origins, beyond it being a Chinese martial art, are unknown, but it’s been a well-respected alternative exercise and form of martial arts therapy since the early 20th century here in the U.S. Today, the martial art has gained popularity in assisted living and independent living senior communities for its health benefits and the way it contributes to stress management.
The emphasis during Tai chi, similar to yoga or yogalates, is on being present in the moment and focusing on the body’s movements. which can inspire mental clarity and calmness. Of the exercises we’ve discussed here, Tai chi is the easiest to begin. Most of the challenge is mental, rather than physical. It is also well respected and the health benefits have been proven over centuries.
The instructor at the front of the room was no less than 65 years old, her wrinkles and gray hair the only indication — certainly not her toned body and the way she moved her hips smoothly, making the coins on her skirt jingle in a seductive cacophony.
Yes, belly dancing is for seniors, and it’s a fun way to tone up, feel great, and have a few laughs, too. Belly dancing can start out slow and rhythmic, the perfect low-impact exercise for any age. And you can wear sweats and a tee; revealing clothing is not required. Whether you’re looking to whittle your waist or just stay active, belly dancing could be the next exercise to try in your senior community.
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