Exercise is important during all phases of life, but it’s especially important for aging adults. It is essential for maintaining independence and flexibility among other benefits. To determine the best exercises for you, focus on activities that help with strength, mobility, balance, and breaking a sweat by increasing your heart rate. However, the best exercises for you are the ones you will want to do habitually. Here are 4 of the best exercises to break a sweat this summer.
Walking is one of the best ways older adults can achieve cardio. You can modify your speed to a comfortable pace and go a distance that feels right for you. Walking requires good balance but can still be done if you need the assistance of a walker or a cane. Spending time outside also promotes positive mental well-being by reducing anxiety and improving mood.
Swimming or Water Aerobics
For many reasons, swimming and water activities are considered the best exercise for aging adults. Swimming expands the heart and lungs, making them stronger and more efficient at pumping blood through the body. In Water Aerobics, there is a lesser chance of injury since water reduces strain on your body’s joints. Swimming also decreases overall inflammation and boosts the immune system while improving metabolic efficiency.
You can start yoga at a beginner’s level and work your way up to a more strenuous yoga class; starting out, you will focus more on different breathing techniques and balance. You can still break a sweat in the beginner’s class, however! Moving through the various poses will help improve flexibility, balance, and strength.
According to Forbes Health, cycling is one of the best aerobic exercises for aging adults due to its many health benefits. “Whether you choose to use a stationary bike or an outdoor bicycle, cycling requires using your larger muscles such as hamstrings and quadriceps. Cycling leads to increased blood flow and demand for the heart and lungs. With any form of cardio, when this demand is repeated, the body adapts by increasing its capacity to tolerate the added load making the exercise beneficial for the heart and the lungs.” An additional benefit to cycling is that it is a non-impact exercise that helps people who need to reduce ground reaction forces during workouts due to muscle or joint pain.
It is never too late to start exercising. Even if you start slowly by just lifting 3-pound dumbbells daily. You are increasing your vitality and getting on track for healthier living. A recent Swedish study found that physical activity was the number one contributor to adding extra years to your life. However, getting active is not just about adding years to your life. It’s about adding life to your years.