6 Everyday Ways For Seniors To Stay Active
Having a sedentary lifestyle can have a damaging effect on the body and overall health, leading to risk factors like cardiovascular disease, obesity, coronary artery disease and deterioration of muscles.
Inactivity can be especially detrimental to seniors. There are many ways, however, for seniors to stay active everyday without doing anything out of the ordinary. Skip the gym or the expensive exercise equipment and check out these easy ideas instead.
Take the stairs.
Taking the stairs can actually burn more calories per minute than running. Stair climbing is known as a high-intensity activity that can develop muscle strength in the legs and hips. It doesn’t have to be done with high intensity though. Simply using the stairs every day instead of taking an easier route can lower the risk of a heart attack. It can also account for less weight gain. It’s an easy way to get in a little activity and work the lower extremities.
Stand up and stretch to ward off inactivity instead of sitting all day. Even those that can’t exercise can simply stand and stretch. It’s called non-exercise activity thermogenesis or “NEAT”. It’s the practice of stretching and moving even without higher-intensity activity. It can be practiced several times a day to help to prevent sore, stiff muscles often caused by prolonged sitting.
Take a walk.
Walking is a wonderful way to stay active. Whether it’s a five-minute walk around the house and a longer walk around the block, walking is always beneficial in warding off a sedentary lifestyle. It can also relieve tension and provide energy. Walking after a meal can even improve digestion.
Watch and walk.
Studies have shown that more television can equal obesity and cardiovascular disease. Consider a treadmill to watch TV and walk at the same time. Even without a treadmill, walk around every time a commercial comes on.
Do yard work.
Get outside for light yard work in the spring or fall. From planting flowers to raking leaves to pulling small weeds, yard work is an excellent way to work muscles and add some activity.
Keep up with a pet.
Caring for a pet is another everyday activity that can keep seniors moving. Simple feeding, going outdoors, or light play with a dog or cat can keep seniors from sitting still all day. Plus, the emotional benefits of an animal companion can go a long way too.