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8 Creative ways Older People can get in Shape

• Written by Ashley Smith

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We all know that physical activity and exercise is an important aspect to staying healthy and independent as we age. Today, most adults aged over 65 are the most sedentary group with a majority of us spending an average of 10 hours or more sitting down or lying around.

Unfortunately, this means that we might be paying for our inactive lifestyle with higher chances of falls, heart disease, obesity, several medical conditions and even an early death when compared to the general population. Thankfully, just because we are older, we don’t have to resign ourselves to being inactive or sitting around endlessly on our posterior.

By staying active and in shape, we can keep ourselves feeling and looking our best. This is great news, because we all want to live the best independent life possible. Even if we get aches and pains at times or struggle to walk up a flight of stairs, we can get in shape to maintain and improve our quality of life.

This is especially important for older adults, because regular exercise can reduce our chances of heart disease, diabetes, certain forms of cancer, improve flexibility, strength, and even reduce arthritic pain.

Check out the following eight creative ways older adults can get in shape this year!

1. Go Dancing

Waltz your way into better shape by signing up for a dancing class or take a night out on the dance floor. Dancing is a great way to flex your muscles, joints, and sneak in a little cardio while having fun. Give yourself permission to turn the radio up and enjoy some moves. Dancing can be a fun and enjoyable hobby to take up.

2. Try Stretching or Yoga

Slow controlled movements that accompany stretching and yoga help strengthen our core muscle strength, boost flexibility, and improve balance. The nice thing about this method of getting in shape is that it can be done anywhere and adapted to any fitness level. For more ideas on stretching or yoga, join a class or search online for guided videos and tutorials.

3. Pull up a Seat

A lot of older people are worried about overdoing it when it comes to exercise. However, there are a variety of exercises and classes offered that utilize chair-based exercises. These are gentle movements that improve posture, balance, flexibility, and are perfect for those of us who experience reduced mobility.

4. Turn to Resistance Exercises

Exercise doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or require special equipment. With a little thinking outside of the box, we can use simple things around our home to get in shape. Use tins of foods, furniture, or simple resistance bands made out of old nylons to enhance our muscular strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and even fight bone loss.

Simply use these items to force your muscles to move against the tension, provided by your own body weight or objects.

5. Walk the Dog

One creative way to sneak in a little more movement is by taking the dog(s) for a walk. Our pets love to get outside and their needs are an incentive to make sure we keep active. After all, dogs typically require us to let them out several times a day and they won’t understand if we just don’t feel like getting up or want to skip it just this once.

Our four-legged pals hold us accountable and provide company in the process. If you don’t have a dog, consider volunteering your time for a local shelter or rescue group.

6. Swimming

While many of us associate swimming with our younger days, we need to take another look at this form of exercise. Our GP’s love this activity, because there is typically no age requirements or health barriers to prevent someone from exercising in the pool.

Swimming strengthens cardiovascular systems, improves the function of joints, increases flexibility, and strengthens muscles. But, that is not all. Swimming is also shown to provide psychological benefits. This activity can improve our sense of well-being and provides a social outlet for older people to meet others.

7. Run Around with the Grandkids

One way to fit in exercise is by being active with the grandkids. Roll a ball on the floor, kick a football around, take them to the playground, splash in the paddling pool, or treat them out for a day at the zoo or beach. Besides creating wonderful memories, you will also be tapping into a fun and creative way to get in shape.

8. Watch what you Eat!

Like any stage in life, good nutrition is vital to playing a protective role in our health. Older adults need to keep this in mind, especially when it comes to keeping age-related conditions at bay. These include cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.

Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits and veg can even help us protect our dental, bone, and joint health so we can remain active. If you're looking to begin a new diet, have a read of our guides to the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet.

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What creative ways can you share for older adults to get in shape? Share your ideas in the comments area below!

Remember to use the discount code BLOG2018 when you order one a personal alarm on a Monthly or Annual Plan to receive £10 off.

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