Being old does not mean being unfit. As you get older, you will probably find yourself investing more and more of your time in physical activities. These are essential if you are looking to have a happy and fulfilling aging process.
If you are thinking about increasing your fitness or looking for extra activities to add to your arsenal, we have compiled six great activities that you can take part in below. The best part of the ideas we have outlined is that they do not necessarily require vigorous exercise. Instead, they can all be enjoyed on other levels, boosting your happiness and your immune system.
Read on below to see which activities we have picked for you. We would advise not just adopting one or two of our recommendations but seeing which ones you can work on together to get the most out of later life. Nonetheless, it is worth remembering even the smallest amount of physical activity is better than none at all!
While you may be at an age where long hikes can seem rather intimidating, there is no reason why your walks have to be that long at all. The CDC’s research suggests that significant benefits can be found from just 20 minutes of walking a day, a realistic and easily doable target. If you find it hard to walk on your own, we would recommend calling up family and friends and asking them if they want to walk with you, giving you crucial emotional and physical support.
Another aim is to hit a certain amount of steps, with the average amount recommended for a healthy life coming in at around 7000-8000 daily for those who are physically able to do so. This does not have to be achieved merely by going outside and walking around the block but can be added to walking around the house and engaging in cleaning, washing, cooking, and more.
There is a reason that many older adults take up activities such as ballroom dancing later in life. Its slow, languorous movements and potential to connect with other people allow strong exercise without feeling too physically spent out. There are a variety of health benefits associated with the practice. They include:
- Weight loss
- Preventing dementia
- Reducing diabetes risk
- Mental health benefits
- Increased cardiovascular functions
One place that may offer the opportunity to practice ballroom dancing and other types of dancing is an assisted living facility. For one good option, we would recommend Frontier Management, which offers facilities across the USA. You can learn more by visiting their website here.
Your diet is a crucial aspect of staying fit, especially as an older adult who’s metabolism may be weakening and who may not be able to engage in exercise as they used to. In fact, making positive changes to what you eat can seriously improve your overall fitness and health, even if you don’t incorporate new fitness regimes into your lifestyle, as ensuring that your overall daily calorie intake doesn’t go over the recommended amount can cause you to burn off excess fat.
Eating well doesn’t mean that you have to go on an intense diet, however. Instead, it means that you should focus on getting enough of the main food groups and reducing your intake of bad sugars and fat obtained from too many treats. A good place to start is to try getting your five-a-day while limiting your sweet treats and cheat meals. For more information on how to eat well, check out this article from Healthline.
Yoga is such a popular activity nowadays because it encourages stretching and mindfulness without putting too much physical strain on the body. Rooted in Indian philosophy, it also stresses a crucial connection between the mind and the body, emphasizing a holistic approach to both physical and mental health. One can expect the health benefits from taking part in yoga to include increased balance and stability, essential for completing crucial tasks; increased flexibility and reduced joint pain, improving quality of life; improved respiratory functions; better mental health, and the reduction of anxiety.
From simply pottering about planting new vegetables to steadfastly turning your garden into a tropical paradise, gardening offers both great exercise and a fun and rewarding hobby. There are notable fitness benefits to engaging in the activity, ranging from building self-esteem to strengthening your heart to decreasing stress. It is also an excellent way to bond with friends and family, as you can decide to work on a project together. The great thing about gardening is that it can be as strenuous or as relaxing as you choose, making it a low risk but high reward activity.
Spending time in the water — whether it is in a pool, the sea, or a lake — has untold health benefits, both mental and physical. As our body has to work harder when in water, this increases joint functions, cardiovascular breathing and reduces diabetes. Swimming just a few laps a day can be the key to ensuring a longer and happier later life.
There are also many mental health benefits to swimming as they can decrease problems such as stress and anxiety. Swimming can also be paired with a lot of other great activities such as relaxing on the beach or visiting a sauna, making it a sneaky form of exercise that ultimately does not feel like exercise at all!
Early morning, hitting a great ball, capturing the best of the sun, and hanging out with your friends; these are just some of the pleasures of life that golf can bring. It is a great sport that can be played at your own pace and brings obvious health benefits thanks to the time spent outside and the sheer amount of walking needed to cover an 18-hole golf course. It has also been proven to have countless mental health benefits, including increasing a general sense of well-being, decreasing stress, and filling summer days with purpose. You can also play alone or with friends, depending on what you want to get out of the course.