There is a huge misconception that exercising in old age can put stress on the body and increase the risk of falls or spasms leading to injury. Contrary to what many believe, regular physical activities help people gain balance, strength, and endurance; factors that are important for the elderly. Furthermore being past your primes, there isn’t a need to undergo a vigorous exercise routine; investing just 30 minutes of your day to moderate activities (like walking, jogging, cycling, etc.) can also do wonders for your physical being.
Following are some exercises that you can perform easily and remain physically fit, especially if you’re past your primes:-
#1: Squats for Lower Body Strength
Squatting is one of the easiest and safest ways to augment lower body strength. It is simple and doesn’t put too much pressure on the body. Extend your arms towards the front and bend down to an almost sitting position. Ensure that you don’t bend down past your knee-length. Hold this position for a few seconds, then raise yourself back in the standing position. Repeat for two sets of 10 repetitions. You can also use a sturdy chair for the balance and squat while holding it as support.
#2: Light Weight Lifting for Upper-Body Strength
Adding resistance with elastic bands or light weights significantly helps in developing muscle mass and upper body strength. Sit or stand with your feet on the ground and hold the weights (choose according to your endurance) at shoulder height with your knuckles facing forward, then slowing lift the weights above your height. Try to complete two sets of 10 repetitions on a regular basis.
#3: Wall Push-ups to Strengthen Your Shoulders and Chest
Push-ups help strengthen the arms, shoulders, and chest. Doing it the traditional way is may be taxing for the muscles. Instead, you can modify this exercise by doing wall push-ups to gain similar benefits. Stand at an arm’s length facing a blank wall, lean forward and press your palms flat against the wall. Bending your arms, slowly bring your upper body towards the wall, hold for a moment and push back until your arms are straight. Try to do a set of 10 repetitions every day.
#4: Leg Raises for Lower Back Muscles
Leg raises strengthen the hips and thighs and are great for balance as well. However, to perform this exercise, you need the additional support of a chair. Holding on to the chair, lift one leg out to your side, keeping it aligned from heel to hip while maintaining a straight back. Hold on to the position for a few seconds, then slowly lower it back to the ground. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.
Being Fit and Active - Age No Bar!
Being physically fit is imperative, irrespective of your age. Contrary to the myth, exercising doesn’t add stress to your body; rather it confers the necessary strength and balance to your muscles, required to maintain fitness with growing age. So push aside those apprehensions and exercise your way to an active, happy and healthy life ahead.