3 Ways to Keep Exercising as an Older Adult

How Older Adults Can Adapt Their Workout as They Age

Last Updated on June 28, 2021

Everyone knows that an active lifestyle is the cornerstone of good health, but should you slow down as you start to age? As you get older, you may start worrying about injury or accidents when you participate in physical activity, whether you’re a runner, a regular at the gym, or you play a sport.

But physical activity brings a ton of health benefits to seniors, including enhanced control over arthritis, healthier bones and stamina, improved muscle strength, lower fall risks, and even improved memory, which can help prevent dementia.

Staying active is an essential part of healthy aging, but that doesn’t mean your workout routine should go unchanged. It’s important that you adapt your workout as you age. It doesn’t all have to happen at once, but these are some of the changes you should keep in mind.

1) Keep an Eye on the Weather

Kerala India Sunset

As you get older, you’ll become more vulnerable to extreme temperature changes than you used to. If you’re headed out for a run in the colder weather, keep in mind that you’re at a greater risk for hypothermia. In winter, there’s also an enhanced risk of falling due to ice. Plan your routes carefully along sidewalks or trails that you know will be plowed or reliably shoveled. Otherwise, consider finding an indoor alternative.

On hot summer days, you have to be careful about heat stroke, but also dehydration. As you get older, your thirst perception becomes blunted, and you may not feel thirsty, even when your body is desperate for water.

2) Change the Sports You Play

Games and sports aren’t just about physical exercise; they’re also social events. Just because the demands of a sport you’ve always played like baseball or tennis are too much, doesn’t mean you have to leave it behind.

At All Seniors Care senior living communities, sports, games, and exercise are a big part of the lifestyle. Amenities and events are designed to make group exercise accessible and fun. Continuing these activities can bring better physical and mental health for years to come.

Great games for seniors aren’t too hard on the body but help maintain muscle strength and flexibility. Some great games for seniors include:

  • Golf
  • Pétanque
  • DrumFIT
  • Bocce
  • Archery

Changing the kinds of games that you play lets you keep up the conviviality and social aspect of exercise without risking strain or injury.

3) Pay Attention to Your Body

adorable elderly couple

When your body tells you that there’s something wrong, listen to it. There’s no better warning sign than what you give yourself. Some of the most common workout warning signs include:

  • Sore muscles or stiffness that persist longer than the normal 24 to 48 hours, or soreness that recurs every time you do a particular exercise;
  • Pains that go beyond the typical “burn” of an ordinary exercise;
  • Consistent, minor pains that don’t seem to get any better.

If you experience any of these signs after your usual workout, it’s time to make a change. Modifying your workout in response to these natural signs will help you avoid turning minor injuries into chronic pains.

Seniors can stay active! But it takes a bit of adaptation and adjustment to make sure you can continue to enjoy your lifestyle and all the health benefits of being active.

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