Functional fitness exercises can help seniors build personal fitness for health and longevity. Functional fitness for seniors can help increase stability, lessening their risk of falls. It can also help to increase bone health and protect bone density, making them less likely to break a bone if they are involved in a fall or other accident. The following exercises are some examples of functional fitness exercises senior citizens can do to help build personal fitness and maintain overall health and independence.
1. Walking. Walking may sound easy, but for many seniors it is a challenge that has to be worked through to create a routine that provides benefits. Make sure you are wearing the right biomechanics shoes. A podiatrist can help make a recommendation on shoes if you need specialty shoes or special orthotics. The right shoe can help keep you injury free and protect your joints. Walking provides cardio fitness which can help lower cholesterol and increase your daily energy so you will be able to accomplish more in your everyday activities.
2. Swimming. Swimming and water aerobics are great low-impact exercises for seniors. You can build cardio fitness by walking in the pool if you are unable to walk on a regular surface. You can also tone up in the water doing light plyometric exercises in the water. The water displaces the pressure from the joints and muscles so you can do a lot more in the water than you can outside of the water. You can strengthen the hip anatomy muscles more easily in a pool and reap the same benefits as traditional exercises. Using swimming or water fitness to build functional fitness for seniors can help strengthen the joints allowing them greater mobility and increased stability.
3. Light weights. Light weights can be used to help tone up and build muscle around the joints. You do not need to go heavy to benefit from lifting weights. A three or five pound dumbbell is all you need. The motion training can be performed sitting on a bench, a chair, or even from a wheelchair! The purpose is to perform movements that help loosen and strengthen the joints. Using light weights is all you need to get blood flowing to those areas and to build strength.
4. Yoga. Yoga can help increase flexibility and leanness. Yoga can help focus on posture and breathing for relaxation and to alleviate minor aches and pains. Sometimes it can be more than just back pain. Giving the body a good stretch and focusing on the body from within can be just what you need to mentally reboot the body.
5. Tai Chi. Tai Chi is another functional fitness exercise for seniors which focuses on increased stability and balance. Individuals who practice Tai Chi regularly have noted an increase of mental strength and focus that carries over into other daily activities for better overall physical and mental health.
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