Best Exercise Equipment for Seniors
Various exercise equipment can be used by seniors to keep themselves in good shape and strength.
You can use Ellipticals, Lat pulldown machines, Exercise bikes, Rowing machines, etc. But these are very expensive and occupy a lot of space. After retirement, not many can afford this type of equipment or space, especially if you are living with your children. So I have chosen the less expensive equipment, easy to store and carry if you are going out of the station.
This is my favourite piece of equipment. I have actually kept a stability ball in our living room. Yes, it looks out of place there, but because it is there, someone in the family or friends always likes to sit on it.
Standing, balancing, and maintaining good posture both require core strength. Sitting on a comfort ball is an excellent way for seniors to improve their core muscles! Some movements, such as stretches to enhance endurance, can be performed easily with the ball. In a variety of areas, the comfort ball can assist seniors in improving their general physical health.
Yoga mat was my first exercise equipment too. I was 43 at that time and had started with Pranayama and Yoga.
A series of low-impact workouts may be done on one’s feet, elbows, or while sitting on the mat. Stretching activities like pilates and meditation are all done on yoga mats. These are excellent fitness choices for seniors because they help reinforce their heart and increase their balance, allowing them to be healthy not only while exercising but also while going about their daily lives.
Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels
This is another fascinating piece of equipment. We were asked to purchase this by our running coach when we started running. These can be used as wrist weights and ankle weights, and a variety of exercises can be done with these. Best part is that you can get weights ranging from 1lb to 5lb and more.
But use these only for exercises for strengthening preferably under guidance. Don’t use these for walking, jogging or such cardiovascular exercises. These are less useful that way and more tiring too.
Resistance bands are a simple way to build muscle strength that takes up almost no room. They will help you mix strength and cardio training while still improving your posture and stability. Resistance loop bands are a great place to start, and they come in five different degrees of resistance so you can tailor your workout to your needs. Then there are various kinds of loop bands as well. You can even buy a single band at a time.
Blisters and calluses can be avoided when wearing walking shoes that are comfortable and suit the feet. A decent walking shoe can also be light and have good shock absorption. However, not every pair of walking shoes is made equal. Find the perfect shoe that is comfortable for you. The best way to choose a walking shoe is to wear one in the store and walk there for five minutes(Yes, they do allow you). Buy one which feels comfortable. In shoes, comfortable does not mean expensive.
You can buy Velcro shoes also if it is difficult to bend down and tie the laces. All most all companies make Velcro shoes now.
The Benefits of Exercise for Seniors
Seniors require strength, endurance, flexibility and balance, and their exercises should cover all four of these facets.
Stretching promotes posture and makes for more joint mobility. It aids in the relief of muscle pain and soreness and lowers the chance of injuries. It also aids in the improvement of circulation, muscle function, and coordination.
Physical fitness, self-efficacy, perceived functioning, and wellbeing all improve as a result of it.
Every year, it is estimated that more than one-third of older adults (65 and older) experience fractures due to falls.
Yoga and Tai Chi are two significant activities to improve balance and stability in seniors. Yoga blends physical exercise with calming and breathing exercises to enhance muscle tone, posture, resilience, and mood.
Balance, agility, and range of motion will all be improved with Tai Chi. Tai chi has been shown in studies to decrease the incidence of declines in older and at-risk adults by more than 40%.
There are various benefits of flexibility in seniors. Fewer injuries, lesser pain, improved posture & balance, relaxed body, more strength, and improved performance in day-to-day activities.
Various Yoga asanas are very effective in improving flexibility. Surya Namaskar, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Trikonasana, Parsvottanasana, Markatasana, and many more, if done regularly, are beneficial in keeping you flexible.
Strength exercise can help prevent osteoporosis and the signs and symptoms of a variety of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, asthma, and type 2 diabetes, and improve sleep and relieve depression.
Weight lifting and resistance bands are various ways to increase strength. As we grow old, we stop doing exercises like weight lifting. On the other hand, it is somewhat more beneficial at that time. It stops the decrease in muscle mass and so the benefits.
A healthy immune system is essential for good health since it aids in the battle against pathogens and illnesses. As you get older, the immune system weakens and becomes less effective at fighting pathogens.
The value of a healthy immune system rises as we get older. For that, we need to eat a balanced diet. Maintain a healthy level of activity, thus reducing stress. Maintain a good weight and have plenty of rest. If you’re a smoker, you should have quit by now. By this stage, the consequences are abundantly apparent. Spend time with nature.
Obesity is a significant risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Owing to the pressure on lower limb joints, being overweight will impair mobility and make retaining independence more difficult. Obesity raises the risk of lung disease, arthritis, and skin problems in seniors.
Weight-loss strategies can be prescribed for obese elderly people. Any approach selected should be followed by a strength exercise regimen to maintain muscle mass.
Metabolic pathways do not work as well as they did when we were younger as we get older. It has been seen to have a significant effect on the metabolic well-being of older people. Blood glucose and insulin levels are crucial metabolic risk factors.
Maintaining a good level of exercise will help to reduce this decrease in metabolism. Regular endurance activity stops metabolism from slowing down with age.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20% of individuals above the age of 55 had mental health problems such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, cognition problems, or depression. Depression, which is the most common and least known mental illness, may have various physical and social consequences. Loneliness and solitude, retirement, or the loss of a loved one are also possible causes.
According to the American Psychological Association, addressing and curing these conditions or intervening early to avoid them, reduces mental distress, increases physical health, reduces injury, and improves the quality of life for older adults and their families.