The Most Effective Group Exercises for Seniors, Expert Says
Staying fit should be a priority at every age and stage of life. But as you start to approach your 60s and beyond, it's even more important to get in regular exercise and stay in the best possible shape. We've made it easy for you with the most effective group exercises for seniors. Read on to learn more, and next up, don't miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
The first step is establishing each individual's ADLs (activities of daily living)
Life expectancy is on the rise, and you want to make sure your older years are at a healthy and fit stage. To help you consider a plan, we spoke with Farel Hruska, personal trainer and DEI Alliance Facilitator at Chuze Fitness. Hruska explains that when choosing the optimum exercises for senior-aged individuals, the first step is to establish which of each person's ADLs (activities of daily living) are of most importance. For instance, one person may prefer getting in daily movement by running or training for a certain event, while another might focus on being independent in their own space.
According to Hruska, "The exercises and their intensity will vary from person to person and will depend on their fitness level throughout their life. The most beneficial movement patterns, however, are generally the same as they focus on strength in postural alignment and the emphasis on balance."
Mid/High Rows and Rear Fly will strengthen your upper back muscles
Gravity starts to be an essential factor as you get older. As you age, your posture is an area that typically "gives in to gravity." Your upper back muscles require strength, and Hruska advises doing exercises such as Mid/High Rows and Rear Fly. She adds, "Alternatively, releasing the muscles of the chest (pectorals) is important to allow for the shoulder blades to retract and assume a more neutral position."
Hay Balers and Woodchops will enhance your rotational core strength and stabilize your pelvic area
When it comes to balance, Hruska explains, "The muscles of the 3-dimensional core, or the torso, plus the stability at the pelvis is needed." As you age, your bone density decreases, and your muscles weaken. Hruska continues, "Because of these changes, balance is challenged and falls can occur. The strength of the core and lumbo-pelvic complex is crucial for combatting these challenges."
It's important to improve your rotational core strength and stabilize your pelvic area by performing just the right exercises. Hruska recommends doing Hay Balers and Woodchops with both of these goals in mind.
There are certain exercises seniors should avoid
That being said, there are some exercises Hruska shares that you should stay away from as you get into your senior years. She advises, "When balance is an issue, exercises with high balance and high impact challenges need to be avoided."
A great way to determine what works for you is to begin with a basic version of an exercise. An example is a squat. Hruska suggests, "Start with a shallow version and assess how it feels. If it feels stable and safe, we can either add resistance/load and/or add a variable of instability. Like anyone else, begin with the base movement and then progress if there is 'success' felt."
Exercising around two to four days each week is important
It's recommended to exercise somewhere around two to four days each week. The time you should plan on should be based on your own level of comfort. According to Hruska, "Movement patterns/exercises should match the needs or values of their activity of daily life and the joy they feel in the movement they choose. Ultimately, if you feel successful, you will repeat it."
Getting in some physical activity on a regular basis is the goal here. It's truly the best thing you can do for your self-love and care.