April 20 2018
Senior living means making a lot of changes in your life. It’s not just retirement and finding that you have more time on your hands that can be the biggest adjustment. As time passes, you may find that the things you once took for granted in your youth, like running at top speed, or easily moving furniture from one location in a home to another are no longer the easy activities they once were. The physical limitations that come with senior living may often require the most getting used to. And yet, at the same time, transitioning into a senior living lifestyle doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be a physically active adult. In fact, in some ways, it’s more important than ever before that you maintain a physically active lifestyle.
Stimulation, Not Exhaustion
The biggest change that most people will have to make when it comes to embracing physical fitness in the senior years is a change in the definition of what physical fitness and exercise means. During the younger years, getting a workout usually involved pushing yourself to the limits of physical performance, running yourself ragged, lifting weights, or engaging in other exercise routines that brought your body and your stamina to the physical breaking point of your lungs and muscles.
Of course, in your retirement years, this type of strenuous, physically demanding exercise is strongly discouraged. It no longer has the same benefits, and may even be harmful if you try to push yourself as far as you can physically tolerate. At the same time, however, ignoring your body and not exercising can leave you in a vulnerable state in terms of physical health. So what do you do?
There are still obvious health benefits to exercise, as long as you adjust them to the needs of a senior. Getting aerobic exercise or building up physical strength can still impart tangible, long term healthiness for you and your life, but it must be properly measured according to your age.
Stretching exercises, when properly conducted, are a great way to loosen seniors up for more intense exercise. Strength exercises, on the other hand, can help reduce arthritis, osteoporosis, and even lower back pain. Meanwhile, low impact aerobic exercises can increase stamina, and help control weight, while balance exercises can play a critical role in seniors to avoid falls that can be potentially crippling.
Now that you’ve got more time, you can afford to exercise to a regular regimen, and perform these exercises the right way for your specific, physical and medical needs. And by performing these exercises, you help yourself to enjoy fruitful and more active retirement years. You may find that in some ways, you’re in even better health now than you were when you were younger, and had less time to take care of yourself!
However, it’s always important for an active adult to undertake these exercises with proper medical consultation. It bears repeating; you’re not young anymore. Make sure that the exercise regimens you’re interested in are in line with what is medically safe for you in your current physical condition. You can always find a way to integrate it with the activities we provide as part of the senior lifestyle.