Monday, November 16, 2009


Senior citizens are prone to fall prey to various health hazards. Common senior health problems include obesity, acidindigestion, muscle weakness, stroke, panic attack, heartburn, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. A good way to fight against these is to take up some physical exercises. Exercises promote one’s health and assist in living life with full zeal and enthusiasm.

Despite knowing the fact that exercise is the prime element to keep the body fit; most senior citizens fail to take it up. They become lethargic as they grow old and this leads to inactivity. Due to this inactivity, senior citizens may suffer from failure of immune tolerance, diminishing overall body strength, flexibility and mental equilibrium, which are recognized as some of the important factors of healthy body and mind.

The main objectives of exercise are to:

  • Promote health
  • Strengthen muscles
  • Improve cardiovascular organization
  • Elevate athletic skills
  • Prevent obesity, diabetes, heart diseases
  • Make the body flexible

Exercises for Senior Citizens

To gain a healthy body, senior citizens should adopt some healthy habits, which can make them happier as well as healthier. They should follow some senior exercise programs that help in maintaining physical, mental as well as emotional balance. Senior citizens can start with some simple exercises to cope with various problems such as stress, anxiety and other health diseases. These simple exercises include:

Walking:To get started, walking is the best primary exercise that senior citizens should opt for. Walking on a regular basis in the morning and evening can keep one fit and healthy. A senior citizen should walk according to his/her capability. This can reduce the extra fats of the body, make the body flexible and can uplift one’s spirit.

Yoga:Yoga is a form of traditional Indian exercise, introduced to America by Swami Vivekananda. It has a healing effect on one’s soul. It includes breathing exercises and meditations that have been practiced since ancient days. Yoga plays a vital role in keeping a balance between body, mind and spirit. This can help senior citizens in reducing stress, high blood pressure, blood glucose level and blood sugar level. It promotes elasticity of body and provides relaxation.

Swimming:Swimming is another form of exercise that cures many health related diseases in senior citizens. It has some benefits such as reducing stress, muscle pain and helps keep one fit.

Lightweight exercises or training:Senior citizens may also practice light weight lifting with the help of light weight dumbbells. This will help enhance liveliness and improve metabolism.

Besides, senior citizens can do various other physical exercises, which include aerobics, muscle flexibility and endurance exercises.

Aerobic exercises:Aerobic exercises are rhythmic by nature and warm up the body. While doing these exercises, a senior citizen involves in physical activities like jumping, dancing according to steps to tone up the body muscles. These strengthen the respiration process, provide sufficient oxygen, improve blood circulation, reduce blood pressure, reduce rapid palpitation and help improve mental health.

Muscle flexibility exercises:As senior citizens grow old, their muscles tighten and their range of motion decreases. Therefore, to preserve their range of motion, maintain youthful flexibility and relax their mind, muscle flexibility exercises are very effective. Muscle flexibility exercises involve stretching slowly without bouncing. While maintaining normal breathing during each movement, attention should be paid to the muscles that are stretched. This will help the senior citizens to relax their body as well as mind.

Endurance exercises:Some endurance exercises like riding, stair stepping, walking and swimming can improve the endurance level of senior citizens. They can gradually increase the duration of these exercises according to their level of tolerance. While doing these exercises, one should start slowly but plan to work a little faster as time passes by.

Some Points to Remember

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes on a regular basis
  • Start slowly and increase activity gradually
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, while exercising
  • Test blood glucose level
  • Consult a physician before starting any exercise regimen

These tips will help in fulfilling all the objectives of exercise and provide an all-round development of body, mind and soul. Proper care of senior health, will also make life worthy of living.

By Ajanta Bhattacharyya


1 comment:

Jacob said...

This is the most comprehensive guide I have seen yet for senior citizen exercises. Well done!

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