Exercise is important at any age, but it can be challenging to know how to get started as a senior. If you’ve slowed down over the years, you might think you’re too old to get into shape. But it’s never too late to get moving.
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How Much Activity Do Seniors Need?
According to the Government of Canada, older adults (65 years and older) need 2.5 hours of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week and two days of muscle training. The city of Toronto, meanwhile, suggests trying to workout for 30 minutes at least three times a day.
Finding the sweet spot for your health will depend on your general fitness levels. If you’re hesitant about jumping into a new fitness routine safely, Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and physiotherapists are great additions to your workouts.
While some gyms can connect you with these professionals, they aren’t always prepared to help seniors and their unique health concerns. For tailored advice, compare PSWs through private home care in Toronto. The best home care Toronto has to offer ensures all their caregivers are trained and experienced in assisting seniors.
4 Perfect Activities for Seniors
Wondering how you can get more active? Give these four options a try.
Walking is one of the most accessible activities for seniors, regardless of your activity levels or location.
You don’t need any other equipment than the shoes on your feet, and you can do it almost anywhere — whether you walk around the neighbourhood, explore a manicured footpath in the city, or follow a blazed trail in the woods.
The trick is choosing a walking route that fits your needs, abilities, and mobility devices. With the company of a friend or a Personal Support Worker, you can get out of the house while improving your strength, coordination, and balance.
Swimming laps is a gentle exercise that’s perfect for any senior, but it’s especially beneficial for those suffering with arthritis. As a low-impact activity, it doesn’t put any unnecessary pressure on your joints like other exercises, making it accessible to those who find walking painful.
Whatever your fitness level, it’s an all-over body exercise that improves cardiovascular health, builds muscle, and increases your stamina.
4. Gentle Yoga and Stretching
You don’t have to fold yourself into a pretzel to enjoy the benefits of yoga. Hatha and restorative yoga classes provide a slower-paced, gentle option for seniors who want to work on their balance, strength, and flexibility. You can even find chair yoga classes that modify popular poses, so seniors with mobility issues can stretch in the comfort and security of a chair.
5. Tai Chi
Closing this list is tai chi, a traditional Chinese martial art that combines slow, mindful movements and deep breaths. Tai chi movements improve balance, strength, and stamina while refining your coordination.
Its gentle transition from one pose to the next is one of the reasons why it’s perfect for any senior, including those managing chronic conditions and mobility issues. Like yoga, it can be tailored to match your fitness level to ensure you’re moving safely.
Find What You Like & Have Fun
Consider walking, swimming, gentle yoga, and tai chi jumping-off points for your health. Give them a try, but don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new. Finding something you like makes it easier to stick with your new routine. More importantly, you’ll have fun while improving your health.