Exercising is very beneficial for maintaining overall body health. This applies to all ages, including the elderly. In fact, sports for the elderly is very important to do so that the elderly stay fit in their old age with sport and the risk of disease can be minimized.
What are the types of exercise for the elderly aged 50 years and over? Check out the following information!
Benefits of exercise for the elderly
- Adopting an active and healthy lifestyle is very important for the elderly. Light exercise every day, is more than enough to improve strength, flexibility and balance in the elderly.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is ideal for seniors to do 150 minutes of exercise per week or three times a week with a duration of 30 minutes per exercise session.
- The benefits of physical activity for the elderly include:
- Prevent heart disease, diabetes, and stroke
- Promote blood circulation
- Strengthen the muscles of the body
- Prevent dementia
- Improve quality of life
- Prevent stress and depression in the elderly
Types of exercise for the elderly that can be done every day
The following are the types of exercise for the elderly that can be done every day:
Jogging or leisurely walking are the most recommended physical activities for the elderly because the practice is simple but has tremendous benefits when done regularly.
The benefits of jogging include maintaining heart health, removing calories, and increasing body stamina.
Jogging and cycling is also type of recommended sports for the elderly. Cycling has a number of benefits, from keeping your heart healthy to strengthening your bones, muscles and joints.
However, make sure to accompany the elderly during this physical activity to avoid unwanted incidents such as the elderly falling off the bicycle and so on. In addition, cycling should be done around the house so that it is not too far away.
If possible, there is nothing wrong to do swimming sports for the elderly. Swimming is beneficial for maintaining healthy lungs, brain, and heart. In addition, swimming movements can strengthen muscles and joints.
You can also invite the elderly to do sports in the form of dance. Dancing can train the body’s balance while strengthening muscles and bones.
Coupled with cheerful musical accompaniment, this elderly physical activity is also useful for improving the mood of the elderly who often fluctuates or is known as sundowning syndrome.
The type of exercise for the elderly 50 years and over that is also worth a try is yoga. The benefits of yoga are not only for maintaining physical health and fitness, but also mental health.
By doing yoga regularly, the elderly can avoid stress and depression, both of which can interfere with their daily lives.
6. Tai Chi
Tai chi is a gymnastics sport that originated in China. Every movement in this sport is useful for training flexibility and body balance. That is why it is recommended that elderly exercise be done.
Just like Tai chi, Pilates is also a sport for the elderly that aims to train the body’s balance. In addition, other Pilates benefits such as to increase muscle strength and increase stamina.
However, not all the elderly can do this type of exercise. Therefore, before inviting the elderly to do Pilates, you should first consult with a doctor.
Read: Healthy Lung Can Make You Life Longer
Various kinds of sports for the elderly to support movements
1. Wall push-ups
One of the sports for the elderly that is to train the strength of the shoulder and chest muscles is wall push-ups. This movement begins by standing facing a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Leave about 9 cm between you and the wall.
Move forward and place your hands evenly on the wall, making sure your hands are in line with your shoulders and your back is straight. After that, lower your body towards the wall and raise your body back up again. Repeat this movement 10 times.
2. Chair squats
Chair squats have the same function as regular squats, namely to strengthen the thighs, buttocks, and hips. It’s just that, chair squats are done with the help of a chair.
You can do an elderly exercise in the form of chair squats by standing in front of a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart and bending your knees. Move your hips back with your arms stretched forward.
Lower your buttocks to almost touch the chair and then raise your body back up. When raising your body, use your legs to lift your body. Repeat this movement 12 times.
3. Side leg lifts
This elderly physical activity not only strengthens the muscles of the thighs, hips, and buttocks, but also improves your balance. Do this exercise standing next to a chair or wall. Place your weight on your right thigh and stretch your left thigh out to the side.
Position your right toes pointing forward and make sure to stay straight as you stretch your thighs. After that you can lower the thigh and repeat it for 12 times before doing the same movement for the right thigh.
4. Pelvic tilts
If you want to strengthen and stretch the lower back muscles, you can do pelvic tilts for the elderly. Bend one leg forward and place the knee of the other leg on the floor, placing both hands on the waist.
Take a deep breath while tightening your buttocks and bringing your hips forward slightly. Hold for three seconds before moving your hips back slightly and holding for another three seconds. Repeat this movement 8-12 times.
5. Abdominal contraction
Abdominal contraction is an elderly exercise that has the benefit to increase strength in the abdominal muscles. This movement is very easy to do.
First, lie down on the floor that has been covered with a yoga mat. After that, place your hands under your head with your legs bent and close together. Take a deep breath and tighten your abdominal muscles.
Hold your breath for three seconds and relax your abdominal muscles. Do this movement 10 times.
6. Bird dogs
Want to exercise for the elderly to strengthen the abdominal muscles, lower back, and buttocks? You can do bird dog movements to train these muscles. The movement begins by kneeling on your right foot and placing your hands on the floor.
Straighten your body and tighten your abdominal muscles. Next, stretch your right arm forward and your left leg back. Straighten them both parallel to the floor and hold for a few seconds. After that, do the same movement with the different side.
Repeat the movement 12 times. If you have difficulty changing sides, you can do it slowly. You can also lie face down on the floor instead of kneeling on one leg, if you have knee pain.
7. Knee lifts
Knee lifts are performed to strengthen the thighs and are performed in a sitting position with the arms by the side of the body. Tighten your upper thigh muscles and raise one thigh about five to seven centimeters off the floor.
Hold the thigh above for three seconds before lowering the thigh back down. Repeat this movement eight to 12 times before doing the same movement on the other thigh.