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Tips on How to Stay Active as You Get Older

Tips on How to Stay Active As You Get Older

Retirement brings the gifts of freedom and flexibility. It’s your chance to do the things that make you happy and to embark on adventures that you didn’t have time for in the past. And while some of those pursuits may be more sedentary in nature — taking up knitting or researching your family’s history — it’s best if you also include plenty of active pursuits that keep you moving. The importance of seniors staying active as they age is well known: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an active lifestyle may prevent or postpone many of the health issues that can arise with aging. In fact, the CDC recommends that people over the age of 65 get 150 minutes per  week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, at least two days per week of muscle-strengthening activities, and three days per week of activities that improve balance.

So take advantage of your newfound free time to resume favorite pursuits or explore new ways of staying active, like these:

Hit the Links

Golf is considered a leisure sport, but during an 18-hole round of golf, a golfer may walk over 3 miles and burn 800 calories, even if they use a cart. Golf has other health benefits, as well, improving strength and balance, preventing falls and boosting longevity.

Visit the Gym

A fitness center or gym will have the equipment you need to engage in aerobic workouts and strength-training exercises. There may be classes you can join as well, adding the perks of social interaction to the health benefits of exercise. If possible, seek out classes designed for older adults or find a personal trainer who can help you create a fitness plan that’s tailored to your goals and fitness level.

Hike Local Trails

Going for a walk is as simple as stepping out your front door, and it offers a host of benefits, including keeping bones strong and healthy, strengthening muscle, improving posture and maintaining a healthy weight. Let your steps guide you through local parks, preserves or nature centers, and you’ll enjoy the mental health boosting rewards of time spent in nature, as well.

Swim Laps

Swimming laps is a low-impact aerobic exercise that takes the pressure off your bones and joints while still providing an excellent workout. It can be an ideal choice for people with arthritis, improving function without exacerbating symptoms.

Tend a Garden

When you consider the importance of seniors staying active as they age, it might surprise you that gardening counts as a recommended activity. In fact, gardening tasks that require upper and lower body strength, such as digging, weeding, raking or staking plants, are considered moderate-intensity activities. And since some physical activity is better than none, even low-intensity garden work, like pruning, sowing seeds or watering with a garden hose, can be of benefit, in addition to yielding a harvest of lovely flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Attend Tai Chi Classes

This movement practice originated as a martial art, but its gentle rhythms make it ideal for older adults. Combining slow movements, mindfulness and controlled breathing, tai chi has been shown to improve balance, prevent falls, reduce pain and improve quality of life for people with chronic conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Go Dancing

Whether you grab your partner to do-si-do, line dance with a group of friends, or simply bop to your favorite beat, studies show that dancing is an effective way to improve strength, endurance, balance and functional fitness. What’s more, dancing can improve mental health as well, enhancing positive emotions, decreasing negative emotions and reducing feelings of fatigue.

Enjoy an Active Lifestyle at Essex Meadows

At Essex Meadows, we know the importance of seniors staying active as they age. That’s why health and wellness activities are woven into our core philosophy. From our fitness center, saltwater swimming pool and executive-length golf course to our gardening areas and woodland trails, you’ll be sure to find an abundance of opportunities to engage in the active pursuits that help you stay healthy and happy. To find out more about independent living community, our philosophy of wellness, or to schedule a tour of our beautiful 104-acre campus, contact us today.