It's a new year and whether or not you are one for new years resolutions it's always a nice time to start developing new habits.
Keeping active is important to maintain overall health as you age. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn helps with your coordination and posture, reducing the risk of falls.
That being said, you don't have to be training for a marathon to stay active. Here are some great ideas for keeping active as you age.
Swimming is a great activity for older adults, mainly because it is low impact and therefore has a lower risk of injury. Swimming has been proven to:
- Improve heart health
- Reduce the risk for osteoporosis
- Increase flexibility
- Improve muscle strength and tone
- Boost mental health
If you're interested in swimming but are not sure what to do in the pool consider joining a class. Water aerobics is often offered at many fitness centers and gyms with pools. These usually include a combination of water walking, dancing and other aerobic exercises that you would normally do on land. There also such thing as water yoga and pilates.
If you are comfortable in the pool the simple act of swimming with provide you with great benefits. There are many pools in the city that offer lane swimming on a regular basis at a low cost. There are over 20 indoor pools in Ottawa to choose from. Check out their websites to see if there might be a program that would work for you. Who knows, you might find something that is just up your alley (or lane).
Yoga can be intimidating. The last thing anyone wants is to find themselves in a room of 20-somethings who can pretzel themselves into oblivion. Enter chair yoga.
Chair yoga is perfect for anyone who has limited mobility, struggles with balance issues or stiffness. A chair is the perfect prop to help guide you through poses that will still:
- Increase your flexibility
- Improve your strength
- Improve proprioception (your sense of your body in space)
- Reduce stress
- Reduce pain
- Help with sleep
There are many yoga studios in Ottawa that offer chair yoga. MountainGoat Yoga in Nepean has a class every Tuesday morning.
If you would rather try it out at home there are lots of chair yoga videos on YouTube that you can check out. Try this video by popular YouTube yogi Adriene. It is less than 20 minutes and is tailored specifically for seniors!
Nordic Pole Walking
Walking is a great way to keep active as you age. But for those wanting a little extra challenge Nordic pole walking may be just what you have been looking for.
Developed in Finland in the early 20th century as a way for competitive cross country skiers to practice over the summer, Nordic pole walking has now become a popular form of exercise for many.
The sport gives you a tall feeling and engages 50 per cent more muscles than walking without poles. It targets the arms, abdominals, waist, chest, glutes, hips and thighs.
One of the best things about Nordic pole walking is you can do it anywhere, anytime. It is relatively inexpensive with poles costing anywhere from $40 to $150 depending on the brand. Other than the poles all you need are a good pair of walking shoes and you are good to go!
These are just a few of the many activities that are great for seniors who want to remain active. The list is pretty much endless so be creative and find out what works for you!