The tried and true adage might sound cliché, but it’s accurate: it’s never too late to get back in shape. Goals will vary widely for people over the age of 65; some seniors may be preparing for another half marathon while another will be preparing for physical therapy to be able to walk again. In the United States, there are now more seniors aged 65 or older for the first time in history, according to the United States Census Bureau. There are well over 40 million people aged 65 or older, accounting for almost 15% of the population.
Adults at this age have different physical needs, requirements, and limitations than Americans that are younger than them. However, the main goals don’t change much during your 20s through your 70s: lose fat if you’re overweight, maintain muscle mass, and live a healthier life. These are all common aims that these age groups share. Research shows that only 17% of men and only 13% of women stay active over the age of 65. To improve your later years, having an exercise plan is a must.
Exercise for Seniors
The benefits of exercise are unquestionable. For seniors, daily exercise can combat the risk of diseases and conditions such as hypertension, high blood pressure, excess body fat, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Improving your functional capacity as a senior is an essential part for a happy life during retirement; no one wants to lose the ability to open doors, carry groceries, push a shopping cart, play golf, or climb stairs. The golden years should be a time to unwind and reflect on a life well-lived; exercise should naturally be a component to a happy life.
Gravity has been exerting its force for over 65 years, so it’s up to a senior to make sure that their body stays active and functioning during older age. There are many things to be said for someone who can stay fit past 65 and there are quite a few activities that seniors can do alone or together to achieve that goal:
- Pilates and Yoga are both great group activities that help with posture, strength, balance, gait, breathing, and balance. These two practices are great for decreasing levels of stress, improving flexibility, warming up your circulation, and building a new or existing social circle. Being social is especially important for seniors that are living in assisted living facilities, and group fitness classes are a fantastic tool to help achieve that.
- Try going for gentle walks. Research suggests that over 44% of seniors over the age of 70 take a 20-minute walk less than once a year. Be part of the majority that still walks, as it improves circulation, mood, energy levels, and proper body functioning.
- Try an aerobic activity such as biking! Biking can be a fun, social activity that helps improve the strength of your lower body and get your heart beating. Try 3-4 30 minute sessions a week. If you can’t bike outside, many gyms offer stand-up mechanical bikes in the treadmill section.
- Swimming is a very low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints and good on the heart. Many seniors report that this is their favorite form of exercise.
Cost Effective and Valuable Health Insurance
Benistar provides group retiree medical solutions by working with the most reputable and reliable insurance carriers to provide senior medical insurance programs. We coordinate with Medicare to help provide seamless coverage for all of your retirees. With flexible plan designs, no networks, a fully-insured plan, and a guaranteed issue with no exclusions for preexisting conditions, Benistar is the best choice for the discerning employer. We are a nationwide leader in the design and administration of group retiree medical benefits and prescription drug plans. To find out more about our services, call one of our representatives at 1-800-236-4782.