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6 Tips for Exercising as a Senior

You've likely heard it said time and time again that exercising has tremendous benefits: It can help control body weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. But sometimes exercising can be challenging, especially if your mobility is limited. Check out these six tips for exercising as a senior to stay active.

1. Use At-home Workout Tapes or DVDs

If you're not comfortable going to the gym or attending exercise programs at Bethesda Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona, using workout tapes or DVDs in your apartment is a great solution. You can purchase those that reflect your interests, such as a yoga DVD or one with light to moderate exercises that are designed with seniors in mind.

2. Start Slow

If you've been sedentary for awhile, it's important to start slow when taking up a new exercise program. Things like taking a quick dip in the pool or going for a walk are great choices for getting started. If your mobility is more limited, using light weights at home can help strengthen muscles.

Whatever you choose to do, be sure not to jump in with both feet. Talk to your medical provider about what is right for you. Then, take it easy, start slow and, before long, you'll feel more comfortable about exercising regularly.

3. Exercise Daily

Staying consistent with an exercise program is important for its success. When you work it into your daily routine, you can benefit from everything regular exercise has to offer, including enhancing your mood, weight control, better sleep and a decreased risk of a variety of ailments, including heart disease.

4. Stretch Before Exercising

Make sure to stretch your muscles before beginning cardiovascular exercise to reduce the risk of injury. Warming up helps your muscles wake up and boosts your flexibility. Use a chair or wall for balance if you need to stretch your legs; stretching your arms can be done while sitting.

5. Try yoga

Yoga is a low-impact, beneficial exercise for seniors as it can help manage arthritis pain and reduce anxiety levels, among other benefits. Bethesda Gardens offers occasional yoga classes, and you can also purchase yoga DVDs to do on your own time in the comfort of your apartment.

6. Use light weights

Light weights of just 1 to 2 pounds are great for building muscle strength with minimal exertion. Over time, it may be safe to increase to heavier weights. Concentrate on exercising major muscle groups at least twice a week for 30 minutes, and avoid exercising the same muscles on consecutive days.