Getting outside and enjoying nature is one of the best and most fulfilling ways to exercise. Although there are a number of ways to do this, the following outdoor workouts are currently trending for seniors. Keep reading to learn what these exercises entail and how they can improve your health.
- Prevent health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
- Strengthen your muscles and bones.
- Promote good coordination and balance, thus reducing your risk of falling.
- Reduce pain from arthritis.
- Manage your weight.
- Improve your mood.
Walking groups are becoming increasingly popular among senior communities as of late, turning the activity into a regular social event. Some areas have established groups that you can join, but you can also start a walking group of your own or just plan regular urban hikes with your friends.
Water aerobics are another trending workout for seniors, with options for a wide variety of different water activities that you can perform in both indoor and outdoor pools, on your own or in a class. Whereas many land workouts can be too taxing on seniors’ bodies, water’s buoyancy decreases and even alleviates the pressure put on joints. Water aerobics can also help with:
- Building muscle strength and endurance: Water’s resistance forces your body to strain as it moves, building muscle and endurance without the need for added weights.
- Increasing flexibility: Water aerobics require moving in different directions and reacting to the flow of the water, which forces your joints to increase their range of motion.
- Improving balance: The buoyancy of water enables you to practice balance exercises without the fear of falling.
- Reducing blood pressure: The pressure of the water promotes better blood circulation, thus decreasing blood pressure and, eventually, resting heart rate.
- Burning calories: Water aerobics give you a full workout, including both strength and cardio as you move against water’s resistance.
Yoga is popular among all ages, but has become increasingly so among seniors recently, with many communities offering classes designed for older adults. Doing yoga outdoors provides additional benefits, as spending time in nature can replenish depleted energy, heighten awareness, and build confidence. You can choose to participate in an outdoor yoga class, or simply practice some of your favorite poses in your backyard or at a nearby park.
Seniors who practice yoga will benefit from:
- Increased flexibility: Many yoga poses require stretching, which helps increase range of motion. Range of motion tends to decline as people age.
- Good bone health: The twisting and stretching movements in yoga help prevent and slow bone density loss. Plus, they’re safe for people who already have osteoporosis.
- Stronger muscles: Yoga provides strength training by forcing you to use the weight of your own body.
- Reduced arthritis pain: Yoga involves flexibility and range-of-motion exercises that promote joint flexibility and joint function, which helps reduce arthritis pain.
- Lower blood pressure: Studies have shown a correlation between practicing yoga two to three times a week and reduced blood pressure.
- Better sleep: The tranquility that yoga provides helps people relax, which is necessary for a good night’s sleep.
- Mental sharpness: Practicing yoga can help you reduce stress, stay centered, and increase your energy levels.
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