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As we age, it becomes more important than ever that we look after ourselves. A big part of this is exercise. Getting some regular exercise will help you stay fit, improve your stamina, build muscles, boost your circulation, help your heart, reduce symptoms of varicose veins and other problems, and help you to maintain good mental health. It can even help you to socialize, which the study of gerontology shows us is exceptionally important. However, if you’ve got medical conditions, ailments, low confidence, or you are overweight, the idea of starting an exercise program can be daunting. Here’s a look at some of the best exercise programs for the over 60’s.

Walking

Walking is one of the easiest exercises to do, and as long as you are moving, it counts. Walk to the shops instead of driving or getting the bus or go for a brisk walk around your local park. Aim to walk at least 5,000 steps a day. A fitness tracker could help you to keep track of your steps and motivate you to do more.

Swimming

Swimming is one of the best exercises for the over 60’s. Especially if you have trouble with your joints. Swimming is a fantastic all over cardio exercise, which keeps you moving and strengthens your core muscles while steadily boosting your heart rate. The water works to take pressure off your joints and ligaments, so it is great for older people.

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics is a brilliant class that many women over 60 take part in. As well as being a brilliant and gentle exercise, it’s also a very social activity. If you are interested in learning more about how exercise and spending more time doing activities with others can benefit you as you age, check out a master in gerontology from the University of Southern California.

Bike Riding

Bike riding is another good option as you can do it anywhere and you are in control of how hard you push yourself. Start with a gentle ride on the flat, then if you feel up to it, start going further and adding some hills. Remember, with any of these exercises, take your time, stop and rest when you need to, and speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Yoga

As you get older you are likely to lose flexibility and start feeling stiff and sore, especially late at night, when you first get out of bed, and after physical activity. To boost your flexibility and reduce stiffness, start doing a gentle yoga routine alongside your cardio exercises.

Weight Training

Weight training not only improves muscle tone it can also aid your bone strength as you get older. If you don’t fancy proper weight training exercises, start wearing wrist and ankle weights when you walk.

The over 65’s on average spend at least 10 hours a day either sitting or lying down. This inactivity, at a time in their life when they are more likely to gain weight, develop diabetes and heart disease, or become depressed, can be dangerous. So, start trying some of these exercises now to reduce the risks to your health that a sedentary lifestyle can bring.