Never underestimate the importance of physical activity in healthy aging. Regular exercise comes with multiple benefits, including improved mental health, reduced health risks, and even an increased chance of living longer.
To see these results, seniors should focus on four main types of exercise: strength, balance, endurance, and flexibility. While any one of these activities can produce benefits, combining all four increases the chances of improved physical ability and overall health. Another benefit: mixing up what you’re doing to stay active makes exercise more fun.
Some older adults may not think they have time to incorporate physical activities into their schedules. You can always start small by identifying activities you already do in your daily life and building on those. While these activities may not strike you as actual exercise, many of them are.
Here are some examples of how to use the four types of exercise in simple and effective ways:
Building body strength can improve stability and mobility, prevent falls, keep bones healthy, and reduce pain from arthritis. Here are a few examples of strength-building exercises:
Endurance training can help you improve the health of your lungs, heart, and circulatory system. It can also prevent breast and colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. A few examples of endurance exercises are:
Taking a walk
Playing a sport you enjoy
Yardwork (tending to your garden, picking weeds)
Keeping your body loose and mobile can aid in continued independence, as well as give your joints a wider range of motion. Stretching is the most effective and low-risk way of achieving flexibility. Here are a few examples of stretches you can start doing today:
Starting on your physical wellness journey can be exciting at the beginning, but how do you keep that momentum going?
Get a group of friends to do an activity with you and hold each other accountable/ make it more fun to exercise. Start a club in your community for walking, dancing, swimming, or Tai Chi to make it more socially engaging.
Reserve certain days for a specific type of exercise. For example, Mondays are for strength building, Wednesdays are for balance, and Fridays are for flexibility.
Don't think you have to go all-out. Remember: some physical activity is better than none at all.
Keep track of your progress to see how far you’ve come.
Find ways to integrate your exercises into your daily routine. The less it seems like a chore and the more it feels like a natural part of your day, the better.
Wellzesta’s focus on the eight dimensions of wellness puts physical well-being at the forefront, with various tools to help residents achieve their goals.
With goal-setting technology, Wellzesta Life residents can keep track of their progress and take control of their physical wellness. Residents are also encouraged to “Do One Thing” new each week with Wellzesta's own personal wellness coach, DOT, who will inspire them to prioritize physical well-being.
Physical wellness articles and videos are also available for residents to follow along or use as a starting point in their physical wellness journey.
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