As we move into the warmer summer months, this is the perfect time of year to get motivated to increase your physical health through exercise. There are so many options that don’t require going to a gym or formal fitness class. You can exercise from the comfort of home, your backyard, or a park! Better yet, there should be some friends or family who may be able to join you for a summer activity that helps you both make progress toward your health goals.
Keep reading for our advice for the best summer exercises for seniors. We hope this offers you inspiration to get moving while the weather is most enjoyable!
Walking is a “lifetime” exercise that people can enjoy at every age and ability level. You don’t have to walk far or fast to reap the benefits of this exercise. In the summer months, getting out for a walk is easier and more convenient than ever. You can walk around your home, neighborhood, at a local park, or somewhere completely new. And walking is a great activity to enjoy with friends!
Yoga and Meditation
We can all benefit from adding more yoga and meditation into our lives. This not only enhances our physical health but our mental and emotional health as well. Yoga and meditation practice reduces stress, blood pressure, and increases mental clarity. Best of all, these exercises can truly be done anywhere, especially meditation! You can practice yoga and meditation on your own and guide your body through whatever feels good for you. Alternately, there are many free resources for guided yoga and meditation that are available online or from local community centers.
Light Weight Training
Moderate weight training is healthy as we age. This helps to keep bones and muscles strong which can help prevent future injury. If your body is trained properly to lift a heavy item, go up stairs, or perform usual housework, you are less likely to get sore or injured when you perform these tasks as part of daily life. Best of all, you don’t need to own traditional weights to enjoy some weight training activities. Water bottles, cans of soup, or any other easy-to-grip 2 to 5 pound item in your home work great as makeshift weights!
Our bodies are made to move and dancing is simply moving our bodies to music. Turn on whatever tunes you enjoy and simply move your body for 20 minutes or so every day. You can do this from the comfort of home, in your backyard, or bring a stereo to a park and invite some friends to join you. There are also many free dance classes, of all styles, available online that you can search and view.
If you have access to a pool, water aerobics are an excellent activity, particularly for aging adults. This exercise is easy on the joints because the water offers support for your body weight. There are many water aerobics classes offered through local gyms and at community pools. With the guidance of a professional instructor, you can safely enjoy this style of exercise which can adjust to your age and ability throughout life.
Even if you choose another type of exercise to do regularly, be sure to incorporate active stretching into your routines. This is gentle movement that aims to stretch your muscles to increase flexibility and prevent injury. Unlike static stretches which can cause you more pain, active stretching involves gentle movement which helps to keep muscles limber and encourages healthy growth. You can stretch truly anywhere and without any equipment needed! Simply set a timer and make it a point to stretch for at least 10 minutes each day!
And most importantly…consistency!
This final point is an important one. No matter how you choose to move your body this summer to stay active, be sure you do so safely and consistently. Consider your level of health and lifestyle at this moment and select a level of exercise that is right for you. Engaging a friend or family member to exercise with you will also help to keep you consistent and accountable for your workouts.
Could you or someone you know benefit from an intentional and structured exercise routine this summer? It doesn’t have to be intimidating to get started! The most important thing to focus on is to simply move your body and listen to how it responds. Consider these exercise recommendations to motivate you to get moving while the weather is nice.