Staying active can help you look and feel great. An active lifestyle not only helps to prevent heart disease and diabetes but also to reduce arthritis pain. Exercising also improves your flexibility, mobility and balance, which is very important as you get older. By adding a few exercises to your weekly routine, you’ll reap the benefits and get even happier as you age.
4 Best Exercises for Older Adults
1. Balancing Exercises
Balancing exercises build strong leg muscles and help to prevent accidental falls. One of the best exercises for balance is the side leg raise.
- Stand upright. Hold a table or the back of a chair for support.
- Slowly lift one leg to the side. Keep your back straight.
- Bring your leg back to position. Repeat with your other leg.
- Repeat the exercise up to 15 times with each leg.
2. Strength Exercises
Strength exercises also build strength but also increase your metabolism, helping to keep your weight and blood sugar regulated. Performing arm raises is a good way to start small and still build strength.
- Sit up straight in a chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Hold a one- or two-pound weight in each hand.
- Keep your arms straight down at your sides.
- Slowly raise your arms out to shoulder position.
- Lower your arms to the starting position.
- Perform another 10 or 15 repetitions.
3. Cardiovascular Exercises
Walking and jogging improve your blood flow and build your endurance. If you have limited mobility, start small with a casual walk. If you’re more advanced, try a few of these endurance activities:
- Raking the lawn
- Walking up and down the steps
4. Stretching Exercises
Stretching increases your flexibility, reduces inflammation and improves your quality of life. To get started, try this simple exercise:
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Place your arms at your sides. Relax your shoulders, and look forward.
- In one motion, bring both arms above your head, and reach for the sky.
- Look up toward your hands, holding the position for five seconds.
- Lower your arms and your head to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement up to 10 times.
If you want to feel great even in your later years, performing regular exercises can help. Before you start any exercise routine, always check with your physician to make sure that the exercises are safe for you.