We’re all getting older, and there’s no time better than the present to keep working out or improve our level of health and fitness. Even if you’re in your golden years, you can still take advantage of your space or equipment and perform simple exercise routines that are easy to follow but will help you accomplish your goals. We have the best routines here for you today and taken the guesswork out of the process! Let’s get started!
Stretching is crucial to any healthy lifestyle but is particularly important when we start getting older. Our muscles tend to tighten up and not be as limber as when we were younger, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Even stretching for just 5 minutes a day can greatly reduce your risk of injury, help strengthen muscles, and increase mobility, among other things.
We recommend doing stretches on a yoga mat or exercise mat if you have one to provide extra cushion and comfort.
- Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch – These are perfect if you’re seated for a large part of the day. To do this, start down by kneeling on the floor (you can use a blanket or towel underneath your knees if you need to).
- Step your right foot forward, keeping it completely flat on the mat.
- Ensure your right knee is at a 90-degree angle, while your left shin is on the mat and your foot stretched out to offer more stability.
- Try to move your body down, keeping your hands on your knee to keep your balance.
- Make sure to keep your posture upright so you’re not hunching or bending over. Engage abdominals.
- You’ll feel the stretch on your left hip flexor, and perhaps your left quadriceps.
Try to hold this for 10 – 30 seconds, and switch.
- Calf Stretch – Find a wall, and stand facing it, with your hands against it.
- Place one leg behind you, keeping your knee straight, and your other in front with your knee slightly bent.
- Your hips and toes should always be forward, keeping your heels on the floor.
- Simply lean toward the wall until you begin to feel your calves and hip flexor stretch.
Try to hold for up to 30 seconds. Do this a total of 6 times (3 on each side).
- Seated Shoulder Stretch – Our shoulders, like our knees, rely on cartilage to operate properly. All you need is a chair for this one.
- Ensure you’re sitting on the edge of your seat, reaching behind the chair, clasping your fingers around it. Make sure you’re holding tight.
- Begin leaning forward, away from the seat back. Don’t go too fast, as the farther you get, the stronger the stretch will be. If you have particularly stiff or recovering shoulders, you may want to try just one arm at a time.
There’s a common misconception that you need a home gym to develop strength, but you can do exactly that from your own home!
- Wall Pushups – These are great for developing strength in your shoulders, chest, and upper body in general!
- Start out facing the wall, a couple feet away. Keep your feet at a shoulder-width stance.
- Place your hands flat on the wall without moving your feet, keeping them about the same distance as your feet. Make sure your spine is straight and your abdominals are engaged.
- Simply lower your body weight toward the wall, bending your elbows. Then, push back as if you were doing a pushup!
- Shoulder Blade Squeeze – These are ideal for improving your posture and keeping your spine in a healthy position.
- Start out sitting as straight as you can in a sturdy seat. Keep your hands in your lap, and envision yourself squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades.
- Keep your shoulders down and you should feel a stretch in your trapezius muscles, chest, and shoulders. Hold each for 3-5 seconds, repeating up to 10 times in total.
- Heel Raises and Toe Taps – Keep yourself seated, with your hands in your lap. For heel raises, keep your toes on the ground and lift up your heels. Repeat this 20 times. For toe taps, you’ll do the same but keep your heels on the ground instead and lift your toes.
Finally, cardio exercise will help strengthen your lungs, your heart, and help improve body composition and mobility. If you have the space, we recommend trying out an elliptical, recumbent bike, treadmill made specifically with seniors in mind. These are easier on the joints and come with railing on each side along with various other safety measures to ensure you don’t lose your balance.
You can walk at your own pace or jog if you feel more comfortable.
However, you don’t have to stay inside! If you’re able to walk outdoors, then you’ll benefit from enjoying some fresh air, nature, and possibly some human interaction. Just make sure that you’re in a safe area and that the weather is suitable for it! 30 minutes of cardio is just the ticket to improving your quality of life and overall health. Just a few days a week can have an enormously positive effect!
Now that you know all the best exercise routines for staying in shape during your golden years, do you have a plan in mind? We hope that this guide has been able to help you out and that you know that you don’t need anything complicated to stay in shape. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon! Remember to have fun and enjoy the process!