Senior Fitness: Small Steps, Big Rewards

When it comes to senior fitness, the information out there is confusing—cardio, yoga, cycling, aerobic, anaerobic, circuit, strength, lift, cross-train, zones, intervals. It’s confusing. And while 20-year-old gym instructors can help you make sense of it, their expertise lies in how to achieve a body ready for the beach, not a body ready for retirement.

So we we went to the experts for answers. And the certified senior wellness staff of Immanuel’s new, state-of-the-art Thrive Wellness Center and Day Spa at The Landing’s Williamsburg campus, generously supplied.

For seniors, they say, focus on five areas of wellness. And of the five, strength and flexibility rule supreme. Knowing how to incorporate these two aspects of wellness into a healthy lifestyle isn’t rocket science, they say. Simply, start slow.

Muscle strength shows up in nearly every day-to-day activity, from bringing groceries into the house to shoveling snow, to taking a walk. And flexibility - the ability to move joints freely - is equally as important for healthy bones and muscles. These two areas diminish as we age. You know the old saying...if you don’t use it, you lose it.

The good news is strength and flexibility can be built, no matter your age. It’s good news for those approaching retirement. Healthy bones and muscles means less risk of falls, and more ability to do the things you love most.

Gently flexing muscles can help build the strength and flexibility needed for day-to-day activities as well as stamina for vacations and trips. If you’re not used to conditioning your muscles, start slow.

Simple chair exercises, small dumbbells and elastic bands are great muscle and flexibility builders. Gentle stretching, tai chi and simple yoga exercises are achievable at any fitness level. And don’t shy away from endurance exercises. Walks, swimming, biking, even a trip around the dance floor can help to build muscle and flexibility. Fitness classes can also provide tremendous benefit for seniors - for fitness, wellness, socialization and more.

Strength and flexibility are important factors in healthy aging. If your curious on the other three areas our fitness experts suggest focusing on, download our ebook - Your Active Retirement which outlines all five areas for a healthy retirement. The book is free (!) and available now, simply click the link below. Stay healthy!