Tag Archives: Exercise for Senior Citizens

Health Tips For Seniors

Post contributed by Mary Christiansen. Mary works as a marketing associate for 1-800-CPAP,  the discount CPAP supplies specialists.

People are living longer now than they did during any other time in history. It is estimated that there will be over 69 million Americans over the age of 65 by the year 2030. This will represent over 20 percent of the total population. While many believe that the most pressing matter dealing with this generation is the impending decisions dealing with social security and Medicare, there is something even more important than this, and that is helping to keep this rising generation as healthy as possible as they age. Here are some health tips to keep in mind when trying to keep you or your aging loved ones both healthy and happy.

Stay Active Doing Something You Enjoy

Probably the most important thing you can do to stay physically healthy is to stay active. Pick activities that you enjoy and try to do at least one of them every single day. While many people might enjoy going on a walk with their significant other or a friend every day, it is not necessarily something that everyone will enjoy. It is also helpful to know that as joints start going bad or just hurt a lot during exercise, it is best to move to something with low impact. The most popular low impact exercises generally take place in the water such including such activities as swimming, walking or jogging the water, or even water aerobics.

Prevent Accidents

Unfortunately, as old age sets in, accidents tend to increase. There are many reasons why this happens, but the most important thing to do is to prevent any potential injuries around your home. Be sure there are no loose carpets or rugs that have up-turned corners. When there are wires or clutter on the ground, keep them out and away from walking paths. Keep hallways lit during the night for higher visibility and also be careful of wet floors, especially in the bathroom.

Stay Social

It can be hard to get out of the house and keep up with friends, but this is an important part of life. Friends help manage stress as well as assist in any changes or transitions that may come through life’s events. Finding humor or seeking comfort is something good friends can provide. Living alone can be tough on anyone mentally. It is helpful to have someone to get you out of the house.

Immunize and Screen

The people who are most vulnerable to sickness and disease are the elderly and the very young. This means you should be sure to keep up to date on immunizations and vaccines that are available. It is also advisable to get a wellness check once a year as well from a regular physician as well as dental, vision, and hearing check-ups. These visits help to catch any problems early on in their development which is when they are easiest to treat.

Manage Stress

Learn to handle the stress that is just part of life through any of the many proven techniques for stress release. For some people, this comes through doing yoga. For others, it comes from regular meditation. Others learn how to think positively and change the way they talk.

Prevent Cancer

In this day and age, the harm that comes from smoking is well known. Not only does it take a toll on your health, but your wallet as well. Improve your physical and monetary quality of life by quitting this habit. Also, as skin ages, it become thinner, drier, and loses elasticity. This all makes it much more vulnerable to the harmful UV rays of the sun, so be sure and protect yourself as much as possible with sunscreen and wearing long sleeves.

Eat Healthy

The other half of exercising is eating well. Make sure you are eating enough food to ensure that all nutritional needs are being met. Many problems occur as a person ages, but many of these problems can be alleviated or improved through diet and exercise, so be sure to pay attention to what you eat.  Avoid fat and sugar and always be sure to get enough calcium and milk. Another thing that is often overlooked is sodium intake because too much sodium increases blood pressure. As you age, the taste buds dull and cannot taste as well. This is why people commonly add salt to their food more as they age.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

When there is more weight to carry around, the harder your joints have to work as well as your organs. The most common problems deal with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. These can be controlled with medications and a CPAP machine, but if you can keep your weight under control, none of these things will be required.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Yoga for Senior Citizens

Yoga may seem like a fad for young people, but there’s plenty of good reasons for senior citizens to do it too.

Many of the physical improvements that result from yoga directly address the health concerns of older individuals. Getting involved in the exercise may lead to a number of important benefits.

Most experts agree that maintaining flexibility is an important part of growing older. Few things hamper a person’s mobility and ability to live independently like muscle and joint stiffness. This can make a person feel much older than they actually are.

Few practices improve a person’s flexibility quite like yoga. The exercise regimen basically amounts to specialized stretches targeted to certain areas of the body. By practicing yoga on a regular basis, older individuals can ensure that they maintain their flexibility and avoid many of the health problems that come from musculoskeletal stiffness.

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common age-related health problems. Millions of U.S. adults suffer from the painful joint condition. It is caused by the cartilage of the joints wearing down over time. Once the cartilage is completely broken down, there is no cure for the pain short of joint replacement surgery.

Today, osteoarthritis is considered one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S. The Arthritis Foundation states that exercise is one of the best ways to prevent the joint damage that characterizes osteoarthritis. However, the irony is that because the condition causes pain, few people stay as active as they should. Studies have shown that very few people with osteoarthritis get any kind of physical activity in their everyday life.

Yoga may offer these individuals a solution to the problem. Because the practices is low-impact, it may not bother the joints of a person with osteoarthritis the way more traditional exercises like running or riding a bike can. This may help individuals meet their fitness goals without putting an unnecessary strain on their joints.

A large percentage of seniors also suffer from cardiovascular problems. High cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and poor blood flow are very common problems. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. However, yoga may be able to counter many of these problems. The exercise routine has been shown to lower the heart rate and improve circulation. This may benefit individuals who have multiple cardiovascular risk factors.

Furthermore, yoga can get the heart pumping more than a person would think, which may provide the cardiovascular workout seniors need to maintain the condition of their heart and reduce their chances of complications. The exercise delivers this kind of workout without putting an individual through anything too rigorous or difficult.
However, this perception should not stop older people from trying it out. There are many classes that are specifically geared to the ability and needs of seniors. In fact, a number of classes offer a type of sitting yoga, with all the of the positions being performed while seated in a chair. This prevents the strain associated with going down to the ground and having to get up again. Therefore, seniors do not have to worry that they are not fit enough to join a class.For some reason, practicing yoga has become very popular among young females, with very few men and older individuals trying out the practice. This is a shame because just about everyone has something to gain from yoga. This is particularly true for seniors, who may be among the least likely to sign up for a class.

The benefits of yoga for seniors do not stop at physical concerns. A high percentage of older adults suffer from depression. The mood disorder is common, as many individuals may have lost their partner or become burdened by chronic illness. Yoga can help people overcome these problems. The practice forces an individual to focus their attention entirely on the present. Instructors tell students to focus on the sensations of their muscles as they are stretched. This tight focus on the moment precludes any thinking about past or future concerns. In fact, some classes are can almost be characterized as moving meditation.

Depression is basically characterized by an inability to pull one’s thoughts away from past regrets. However, becoming more active and participating in an exercise routine that requires such focused attention on the present may help people forget these concerns. Getting involved in one of these classes may be among the best things aging individuals can do for their spiritual, physical and mental health. Many seniors may think that the way to avoid any serious injury or illness is to stay at home, but nothing could be further from the truth. Participating in a yoga class may support many areas of a senior’s health.

Dahn Yoga is one of the largest yoga and tai chi companies in the world with its own unique style and brand of yoga. Dahn Yoga is rooted in the rich history of an ancient Asian mind-body practice, Sun Do, and in the wisdom of the Chun Bu Kyung.