It’s no secret that staying active during the summer heat can be difficult- especially when most of the time is spent indoors. For older adults, maintaining an active lifestyle is critical to overall health and preventing against the decline of chronic illness.
“As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
This summer, get up and moving with these summer-friendly activities:
You heard it right. Chair Yoga. This practice gives all the benefits of normal yoga except with a lower impact on joints. Chair Yoga is a low-impact, low-risk indoor activity for older adults and is one of the best ways to staying active during the summer. Classes may be available at your local community center or on-demand on YouTube.com.
Early mornings or after sundown is the perfect time for a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Walking is proven to improve oxygen flow to the brain and promote brain function. According to Better Health Channel, walking also increases muscle strength, reduces body fat, and improves management of conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. By walking during sunrise or after sundown you can avoid the daytime heat and enjoy some of the cooler parts of the day.
What better way to enjoy summer than in the water with light physical activity? Water workouts put less stress on the joints and muscles, making this an enjoyable, fun, and safe form of exercise for older adults. Whether you are indoor or outdoor, this activity can help keep you cool and moving during peak summer days.
“Regular participation in water aerobics or water exercise classes can help improve heart health and cardiovascular strength. The water’s pressure acts as your friend in the pool and helps circulate the blood in your body more efficiently. As your heart continues beating and pumping away with less strain and pressure over time, you effectively lower your risk of heart disease. Water exercises have even been shown to help lower high blood pressures.” – YMCA of Columbia-Willamette
“Rock the boat” and the “clock reach” are commonly known balance exercises that help improve strength and can help prevent a future fall or injury. Balance exercises are easy to complete at home while watching tv, cleaning, or in between tasks. Not only can these activities improve your physical wellbeing but mental as well; older adults can walk more confidently knowing their risk of fall or injury has decreased after continuous balance work.
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