May 31 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day®. 100,000 older adults will participate in activities at more than 1,000 locations throughout the U.S. on Wednesday as we celebrate the 24th annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day.
The common goal for this day: to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. National Senior Health & Fitness Day is organized as a public-private partnership by the Mature Market Resource Center, a national information clearinghouse for the older adult market.
To help you enjoy this important event, here are a few fitness tips from Healthline.org:
Any activity that increases your heart rate helps build aerobic endurance. It doesn’t take long to see significant changes. The best aerobic activities for older adults to begin with are low-impact exercises, such as walking, cycling, swimming, and water aerobics. Other options include:
- tai chi
- line dancing
- square dancing
- ballroom dancing
Even small changes to your overall muscle strength can have a huge impact on your life. If you’re 65 or older, the CDC recommends participating in strength-training workouts at least twice a week.
You can use your own body weight to provide resistance, while completing activities such as lunges, squats, and modified pushups. Try this modified pushup to strengthen your chest, upper back, and shoulders:
- Stand facing a wall, with your toes 12 to 18 inches away from it.
- Lean forward slightly and place your palms flat on the wall at shoulder height.
- Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the wall until your nose nearly touches it, or get as close as you can without straining.
- Then slowly straighten your elbows and push back to your starting position. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
The CDC reports that every year, 2.5 million older Americans are treated in emergency departments for injuries caused by falls. Yoga and other simple exercises help improve balance as well as flexibility. Try this simple exercise to help improve your balance:
- Stand directly behind a sturdy chair, such as a dining room chair that won’t tip easily.
- Rest one hand on the back of the chair and the other hand on your hip.
- Lift your right leg, bending the knee slightly.
- Hold your leg up for a count of 10. Relax for a moment.
- Then do nine more repetitions on that side, before switching legs and repeating on the other side. As your balance improves, you can do the same move without resting your hand on the back of a chair.
Do your muscles often feel tight? You may need to add some stretches to your daily routine. Stretching is something you should do every day to help you maintain your range of motion as you age. Try this simple neck stretch while standing or sitting down:
- Slowly turn your head toward the right until you feel a slight stretch.
- Don’t tilt your head backward or forward.
- Hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Then slowly turn your head to the left. Hold for another 10 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat three times in each direction.
The more you know about your health, the better you’ll feel. At Good Days, we’re dedicated to helping people achieve a healthier and happier life. Helping people live good days, every day. That’s Good Days.
Sources: National Senior Health and Fitness Day®
Exercise for seniors