How to Maintain Your Fitness & Agility in Your 60s and Beyond
As the days grow longer, it’s only natural to spend more time outdoors. It is the perfect excuse to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and get active. For the age 60 and above crowd, it is important to keep the body agile and strong, and regular exercise is key. Here are a few fun ways to work fitness into your daily routine.
Go for a Stroll
One way to get the blood flowing is to take a walk. If you live in a residential neighborhood, take a walk around the block or a few blocks. Make it a social affair and have a neighbor or friend join you. Muscle strength can deteriorate over time, but walking frequently helps improve agility and prevent stiffness.
Walking also builds lower-body strength, which is a vital part of good balance, improves circulation, and many other benefits. Long walks can also help clear your mind and leave you feeling refreshed. Walking is safe for most people, but if you are less mobile, start small and work your way up. Use a cane or walker, if you need extra support.
Strengthen Your Stance
For seniors, it is also important to incorporate resistance exercise into your daily routine. Strength training increases muscle elasticity and strengthens tendons and ligaments, which keep the body at a full, upright position. Strength training makes it easier to go up and down stairs, and reduces the risk of falling by improving balance.
One easy strength training exercise you can do while sitting is knee extensions. Sit in a chair with knees bent, extend your right leg in front of you and hold for a few seconds, then lower it back to starting position. Switch to other side and do this at least ten times, or until it becomes too difficult.
Work on the Core
As summertime approaches, take the opportunity to do some exercises outside on the front lawn, or set up an exercise room indoors that has a good amount of airflow or ventilation. A great exercise to try is a sit-back, which can fortify the core muscles that help with everyday tasks, such as getting up in the morning or pulling yourself up from a chair.
To do this exercise, start on the floor, sitting with knees bent and arms crossed in front of your chest. Slowly lean back, keeping feet planted on the floor and making sure to go only as far as you’re comfortable. Return to the starting position and repeat 10-12 times.
Relax and Recover with Hydrotherapy
After performing your strength exercises, you may feel a bit achy the next day. This is normal, but it’s important to take a day or two off when muscles feel tender. Try relaxing in the bathtub, preferably one with jets that can get to those core sore spots. This is a great way to wind down after exercise or when your joints are feeling extra achy.
All of American Standard’s Walk-In Tubs include the RevitaJet™ Whole Body Hydrotherapy System, which has 44 air and water jets that can be adjusted to customize your bath. This is the perfect way to unwind and rejuvenate your body after working your muscles. The hydrotherapy helps to soothe any aches and pains, targeting the back, legs, wrists and feet with massaging jets. Relieving muscle tension is important to the strength training process, and can help you retain the new muscle mass you created.
Committing to a regular exercise and recovery routine will improve your agility, give you more energy, and make you feel better overall. Your body will thank you for it, for years to come!