Exercise is beneficial for all of us. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves heart health, and can even boost memory and brain function. For seniors, exercise is more important than ever, since adults can lose up to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30.Strong muscles and good balance are essential to minimize falls and improve mobility in seniors. One key to maintaining muscle mass and good balance is regular exercise.
It can be hard to find the time or place to exercise during the wintertime. Seniors who are accustomed to exercising outside might find themselves cutting back or changing their exercise routines to avoid the cold.Fortunately, summer offers longer, warmer days and more opportunities to get outside and get active.
To mark the start of summer, we’re compiling a list of summer fitness tips, specifically for seniors.
Plan Your Workouts for Morning or EveningSummertime in Arkansas can be sweltering, averaging 91 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the summer season.
Mid-morning to early afternoon is generally the hottest part of the day, so plan your workouts for early morning, late afternoon or evening.Why is it important to avoid mid-day outdoor exercise? Two reasons: heat and sun.
As we age, our skin naturally thins, making it more susceptible to sunburn and sun damage. Many seniors are also taking medications that make them extra sensitive to the sun. Avoid sun exposure from the hours of 10 AM to 4PM to reduce the likelihood of burns and sun damage.
Additionally, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are bigger concerns for seniors than for younger people. Many seniors suffer from medical conditions that alter regulation of body temperature. Others have trouble staying hydrated. Muscle cramping and fatigue are also bigger problems for seniors in hot weather.To avoid heatstroke, choose less strenuous exercises. Walking, water aerobics and even yoga are low-impact exercises that aren’t likely to cause you to overheat.
Drink More WaterThis is good advice for every time of year, but is especially important for seniors during summer.
Inadequate hydration in seniors is associated with a number of increased health risks. Seniors become dehydrated more quickly than younger people. They are also less likely to recognize the symptoms of dehydration when they occur.It’s important to make sure you’re consuming enough water for your body weight each day.
A good rule of thumb for water consumption is for every 20 pounds of body weight, you should drink one cup of water.A 150-pound person, for instance, should consume approximately 7.5 cups of water per day. This amount should increase if you’re engaging in activities that cause a loss of bodily fluids like sweating or spending time in the sun.
Find Indoors Spaces to ExerciseMany seniors don’t have regular access to a fitness center. Even if they do, many fitness centers don’t cater to the senior population and don’t offer classes or machines that fit seniors’ workout goals.
Fortunately, there are other great environments for indoor exercise during the summer.Shopping malls are air conditioned and generally have flat, easy-to-walk-on flooring. If you want to add more cardio to your exercise routine, consider taking the stairs to the 2nd floor and back down again.
You can also take advantage of open space in your own home by purchasing light hand weights or a yoga mat. Seniors can find yoga routines especially for seniors by doing a quick search on YouTube. If weights are more your style, find some simple exercises that work for you. Increase your reps as you get more comfortable.We hope these summer exercise tips help you embark on a fitness journey that will change your life for the better!
If you or your senior loved one wants to explore assisted living or memory care options in Hot Springs, Bella Vista or Fort Smith, AR, consider Brookfield Senior Living and Memory Care.We have three outstanding senior communities that offer amenities, beautiful living options and unsurpassed care.
Contact us today to learn more.