While the current COVID-19 pandemic has closed gyms, yoga studios, and community centers, there has been a large increase in the amount of people who have relieved stress from long walks or at-home workouts. Gyms, studios, and local senior centers have found ways to stream live or pre-taped workouts into participants homes to encourage movement and keeping active during this time. With a few clicks of a mouse, we can start to improve our strength, balance, and overall mood.
Some of the decline we attribute to aging, including frailty, mobility issues, poor balance, forgetfulness, are actually the result of inactivity and isolation. Which means they’re all preventable!
The benefits for older adults who exercise are incredible. Older adults who engage in strenuous exercise are more mentally quick, have better memory function, and process information more speedily than their more sedentary peers. Exercise is powerful medicine for the aging brain, preventing and helping to treat depression and improve cognitive function.
Additional Benefits include:
- Increased mobility, stamina and energy
- Less depression and anxiety
- More restful sleep
- Decrease in confusion
- Stronger muscles and joints
The right exercise program should not only be tailored to one’s capabilities, but also to their personality. Some may enjoy taking walks, while others may prefer chair exercises or even yoga.
More and more older adults are now beginning to practice Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that involves slow, dancelike movements alongside measured breaths. It has even been referred to as “moving meditation.” According to ancient Chinese teachings, focusing on breathing and moving deliberately through various poses improves the flow of Qi, which is the vital force of life. Tai Chi helps with coordination, balance, and has been known to reduce the risk of falls in older adults.
Regardless of the type of exercise, there are many ways to reap the benefits of exercise.
Check out these resources for more on Tai Chi and local online workouts geared toward older adults: