To live life to the fullest, one must have an adequate diet and exercise regularly. This is relevant not only for the youth but also for people of all ages, including senior citizens. The importance and benefits of exercise become amplified as one reaches 55 to 60 years of age. This stage of life is often riddled with diseases and chronic health conditions, some of which can become very troublesome if due care is not provided. A health insurance plan with a high sum assured amount is non-negotiable during these years.
The good news is that working out and being physically active can be beneficial in combatting the perils of old age to a certain extent.
Why you should exercise as a senior citizen
- Increased strength and energy
When you work out, your body learns newer ways of challenging itself without putting you in danger. As your workout regimen becomes more regular, your body adapts to newer movements and challenges. This increased strength and energy extend to your daily life as well, making you an independent individual.
- Better mental health
Ask any individual who exercises regularly, and they will tell you that physical exercise contributes positively to mental health. The release of endorphins after a workout session helps mitigate pain and brings in an enhanced sense of well-being.
- Better health insurance package
An older adult who is living an active, healthy lifestyle is more likely to incur a lower premium when they buy a health insurance plan. What’s more, you can also leverage the benefits of exercise to gain some rewards via the wellness programs in your health insurance app.
Workout ideas for senior citizens
- Chair yoga
Yoga has been credited with bringing a host of benefits to its practitioners. However, regular yoga may not be suitable for older adults. An effective alternative is chair yoga. It includes practising stretches and poses while being seated in a chair. This puts lesser pressure on your joints and muscles while allowing you the needed mobility.
Chair yoga poses to try:
- Overhead stretch
- Neck stretch
- Chair cat cow stretch
- Chair pigeon
- Bodyweight exercises
Senior citizens often suffer from or are at risk of muscle or joint issues, which restricts their mobility and thus, their physical independence. Bodyweight exercises can help fight these issues to a great degree. These exercises are also ideal because they do not require much equipment. You can do them at home under supervision and use light weights if it is comfortable for you. Different bodyweight exercises target different muscle groups.
Bodyweight exercises you can try:
- Chair squats
- Lying hip bridge
- Side leg lift
- Bicep curls
- Wall push-ups
A quick tip: If you have been exercising regularly and are seeing the results in the form of controlled blood pressure or sugar levels, then do inform your health insurance provider about the same. You might receive a lower premium on your next tenure!
Pilates is a type of exercise that aims to improve strength and flexibility while bettering your posture and mental health. It uses a certain kind of equipment designed for the same purpose. However, do not fret. The equipment is easy to use, and you will usually be practising under expert supervision.
Pilates can help you improve your balance, which can potentially reduce falls and related injuries. Pilates, like yoga, also focuses on breathing during exercises and can help improve your respiratory functions.
Pilates exercises to try:
- Mermaid movement
- Side circles
- Leg circles
- Pelvic curl
- Walking or light jogging
There is a reason that any park would have seniors on a walk early in the morning. Walking is one of the most simple and accessible ways to keep your body moving. Among its many benefits are lower blood sugar, reduced pain, better heart and mental health, lower risk of many life-threatening diseases, and so on. Aside from these, walking (especially outdoors) also allows you to engage in positive interactions with other people of your age. To perk things up, you can also try the step-up challenge and the like.
What to avoid
It is important to remember that each senior individual’s strength is different. While some may find yoga to be more beneficial, others may find bodyweight exercises to be their kind of challenge. However, one must avoid heavy or intense exercise regimens, such as HIIT, heavyweight training, long-distance running, and so on.