Most people understand the importance of protecting their hearts and brains as they age, but muscle health is often forgotten. This is a dangerous mistake, as good muscle health is crucial for our ability to remain healthy and independent with advancing age. Up to one-third of older adults are at … Read More
Mobility & Fitness
Mobility and fitness begin to decline with age, leading to loss of strength and stability. Researchers now believe any kind of exercise is beneficial, even in later years.
What is physical fitness? It’s defined as a state of health necessary to exercise and complete daily activities without getting overly fatigued. Good fitness requires strong muscles, flexibility, and endurance.
To stay fit, you need to improve your aerobic fitness and strength. Having strong core muscles—the muscles of the abdomen, back, and pelvis—help you stay upright and make it easier for you to be physically active. Core exercises for seniors strengthen these muscles without causing excess stress. Programs such as Pilates, tai chi, and stability ball training work core muscles in a safe, effective way. Specific abdominal exercises such as crunches and planks create a flatter, more toned stomach.
Pilates is a workout program that specifically targets core muscles. Exercises can be done using special equipment, or with the body’s own weight as resistance. Pilates strengthens the abdominal muscles and improves overall strength and flexibility. It also incorporates breathing techniques. Signature Pilates exercises include “The Hundred,” which involves lying on the back, lifting the legs, and pressing down with straight arms for a count of 100.
Diet is another important component to accompany mobility and fitness. To perform at your best physically, you need to eat a balanced diet, complete with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. People seeking to lose weight may try one or more different diet plans, from Weight Watchers to vegetarian.
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How much exercise do we need? The U.S. National Library of Medicine is clear about it: at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day—that’s 210 minutes a week— and strength-training exercise twice a week.
Aerobic exercise is continuous physical activity using large muscle groups for a sustained period (a … Read More
To remain independent, it’s important keep physically fit enough to maintain balance, keep from falling, and stay active and mobile. There are things you can do to put yourself in a lower risk group for falls and improve your mobility. One of those measures is regular exercise. The U.S. Department … Read More
Hydrotherapy, also known as aquatic therapy, is a skilled intervention provided by a physical or occupational therapist in an inpatient or outpatient clinical setting. Don’t confuse it, however, with aquatic aerobics, or water aerobics.
Hydrotherapy uses the properties that water offers—including buoyancy, temperature, and pressure—to provide therapeutic pain relief for individuals … Read More
Yoga is a centuries-old mind and body practice that has many practical applications in today’s world. Flexibility, strength, body awareness, and a calmer mind are just a few of yoga’s benefits. It’s fine to start at an older age; yoga, for seniors, can make a difference in maintaining independence. But … Read More
Knowing about the benefits of exercise doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get off the couch and do it. So… here are 7 steps to help you get motivated to exercise. … Read More
Pilates is a low-impact, joint-friendly method that invigorates mind and body. It was originally a one-on-one training system done on a mat and also on specialized machines developed by Joseph H. Pilates in the early 1900s. He originally called his system “Contrology” and preached about the benefits of doing his … Read More
Resistance training benefits are unique and just as important as aerobic exercise benefits for living longer and better. So what is resistance training and how much do you need? … Read More
Tai chi, which began as a noncompetitive martial art, was once considered in much of the U.S. to be a fringe form of exercise for older adults only. Today, it has moved closer to mainstream medicine practiced by people of all ages. In fact, tai chi benefits are being recognized … Read More
Originating in India, yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years. It’s a practice that strengthens and stretches the body while also using our breath to focus and calm the mind. Everyone—especially older adults—can enjoy the multiple physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga. For beginners and veterans alike, … Read More