Senior Citizens

5 Health-Promoting Activities for Senior Citizens

The active body is a happier and healthier body. People should stay involved with their interests and hobbies during their retirement years. Even illness or impairment does not have to keep the body down. Everyone should be encouraged to keep doing whatever they can do. While sharing and friendship bring joy to the emotions and reading and learning keep the brain working and stimulated, physical action, and movement keep the body going.

  1. Dancing: Dancing is usually a group activity, but even those who live alone can find a dance class in most towns. Many towns have dance classes that actually compete and individuals win prizes, but even those who may never win a prize can join in the fun. Dances and classes provide a pleasant form of exercise that keeps the body moving. Senior centers often provide dance classes, lessons, and parties with competitions or social dance nights. People should feel free to try different classes and groups. They can try different dance styles until they find ones that they prefer and enjoy.
  2. Light gardening and yard work: Some people really love to help things grow, whether it is some potted gardens on a patio, a green lawn that needs trimming or a small vegetable garden in the backyard. Getting out in the fresh air and sunshine and watching plants grow, develop, and produce is rewarding and inspiring. People who know the joy of gardening have found one of the keys to youth and longevity. Getting out in nature and working with whatever outdoor garden or yard is available brings life to body and spirit. The mind itself is able to think more clearly when outdoors where the birds are singing.
  3. Senior aerobics: One fun form of activity is aerobics. Of course, people can turn on some music or follow an instructor on a DVD. Still, getting together with a group can keep people in a scheduled routine. Most people enjoy this sport with other people. Sessions are found in the apartment complex, senior center or health and fitness facility. Of course, starting slow is important. The body will lose its stiffness and even regain some strength by a regular aerobics routine. People should challenge themselves gradually to work up to a full routine. At first they may not do all the exercises, but they can keep moving with the group. Some people really surprise themselves at just how fit they can become. They may even lead the group from time to time.
  4. Swimming: Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise. In fact, many doctors recommend water workouts. Low impact, the water gives resistance that requires effort, but the movements are gentle and easy on the body. People may start out in the water by just walking around in the pool. Then, they may swim some of the time and just hold to the side and kick their legs the rest of the session. Swimming classes of various sorts are available at the YMCA and other health clubs and facilities that have a pool. People can check around in their area and find out what is available. Swimming dance lessons and other types of water aerobics and exercise are offered in different locations.
  5. Walking: Walking is often considered the very best exercise. People can walk at their personal pace and challenge themselves to walk further and at a faster pace every time they go walking. Some who have challenges keeping steady on uneven ground may choose to walk indoors or on a flat surface such as a sidewalk. Then, convenient walking sticks come in many shapes and sizes to help steady people who are walking. When people can get outdoors and walk, they receive further benefit from fresh air and sunlight. Usually deeper breathing results from movement and deeper breath brings extra healing advantages. The sunshine and air benefits are enhanced by the physical activity of walking. Finding new places to walk will help make the activity more interesting, but usually the outdoors provide something new to see each time one walks even on the same path or road.