Health Talk Today

Healthy Living

Effective and Fun Exercise Ideas For Seniors

Guest post by Felix Marsh, team member at Heritage Independent Living.

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It is vitally important for seniors to exercise regularly in order to maintain a good level of health, fitness and independence. And it is a mistake to think that because you are getting older it is less important to exercise!

If muscles are not used regularly, they will begin to shrink. And unfortunately, because people have a tendency to slow down and do less as they grow older, this can become a problem and overall health can suffer. With regular gentle exercise however this can be avoided and joints and muscles can remain healthy and flexible for much longer.

I am not necessarily talking about going to the gym or jumping up and down in an aerobics class. Although, if you are fit and energetic enough, this would be an brilliant way to keep fit. There are a number of different types of exercise for seniors to choose from. And as well as being good for your health, exercise can be great fun and open up all kinds of social opportunities.

It is important to be aware of your limits when participating in any kind of exercise. Take it at your own pace so as not to overdo it. Seniors who have pre-existing health conditions are advised to consult their medical practitioner to discuss any doubts or worries they have before taking part in any strenuous activities that could potentially compromise their current level of health or fitness.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking…

Effective & Fun Exercise Ideas For SeniorsWater
Exercising in water is a great way to stay in shape. Even those with limited mobility can take part in this type of exercise due to the great support and resistance water provides for the joints and limbs.

Swimming is of course, an excellent way to stay healthy. But even if you cannot or would prefer not to swim, another option would be to take part in exercise classes in a pool, which can be great fun and good for your health.

Effective & Fun Exercise Ideas For SeniorsWalking
Getting out for regular walks is easy and of course this option is completely free! Just a short stroll around your neighborhood a few times a week can help to keep unwanted weight at bay and strengthen your bones. Stopping to chat or say hello, or even better, walking with a buddy can be beneficial socially, too. Simply getting outside in the natural sunlight avoids the risk of many health conditions including osteoporosis which is caused by a lack of calcium, leading to weakness in the bones.

Effective & Fun Exercise Ideas For SeniorsYoga
Joining a yoga class for seniors is a wonderful choice as yoga offers both physical and psychological benefits through its combination of gentle cardiovascular exercise, relaxation and breathing techniques. Having mastered the basics, it is possible to fit in a little yoga practice at home, too, as yoga requires nothing more than a mat and some comfortable, loose clothing!

Many seniors have a great time strutting their stuff in local groups. And even if you were only blessed with two left feet, this is a highly sociable way to stay fit whilst meeting friends and having a lot of fun whilst listening to some ‘proper music!’

Effective & Fun Exercise Ideas For SeniorsCycling
Cycling doesn’t have to mean lycra shorts and shiny space age bikes despite what a lot of the cyclists one sees racing around this summer would tell you. Nipping down to the shops or going out for half an hour for a ride around the neighborhood every few days on a comfortable bike is a brilliant way to get some fresh air and work your muscles.

Take it easy at first if it has been a while since you got on a bike. But once you get the hang of it again, you will discover the freedom of the road without a scrap of lycra or Kevlar required! The final thing to say on bikes is that nowadays they all come with lots of gears as pretty much standard, so don’t worry too much about the hills!

Many seniors already do this activity perhaps without realizing the health benefits. Gardening is a low impact form of exercise with a wide range of positive physical and psychological side effects. Stretching, bending, pulling, digging, squatting are all part and parcel of gardening. And therefore, as you complete the activities you can say to yourself that you are keeping the garden looking good and staying fit at the same time. Perfect!

Quality of Life
There are of course, many other kinds of exercise you could get involved with. The important thing is to choose something that you will enjoy and make it part of your daily or weekly routine. If you don’t enjoy it and it feels like a chore you will feel less motivated and be less likely to exercise regularly. Should this happen just try something new. Simple!

Being part of a club or group, getting out regularly and participating in any activity you love is good for you. So, if you know you could be doing more to maintain your health, look locally to see what is available and go for it!

Getting into good habits early on is the key, but better late than never definitely applies to exercising at any stage of our lives whether young or old.

Eating a healthy diet and keeping fit whilst enjoying a hobby, sport or class of your preference will ensure you enjoy a good quality of life throughout your senior years, keeping both your mind and body active and you happier and healthier to boot!

Felix Marsh, Heritage Independent LivingHeritage Independent Living is a respected Live-in Care introductory agency. We match experienced live-in or daily companions and carers with a wide range of people from elder citizens, wishing to maintain an independent lifestyle, to physically or mentally disabled clients of all ages.

Whether you’re a senior or not, what fun exercise do you recommend?
Leave a comment with your effective and fun exercise ideas.

Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

Pancakes with Maple SyrupI believe in living healthy and green. And that by taking little steps in the right direction, I will achieve my goal. But, it’s not always easy.

Most mornings, my breakfast is a little fruit, cottage cheese and coffee with low fat milk. Once in a while I’ll have a piece of whole grain toast. But, today I made pancakes. I chose the Heart Smart Bisquick pancake mix because it doesn’t have all the chemicals and unrecognizable ingredients that the other mixes have. And if all the white flour and Mrs. Butterworth syrup wasn’t bad enough, I cooked them in a Teflon pan so I wouldn’t have a crumbly, stuck to the pan mess. Once in a while it’s OK to splurge, right?

After making twice as many pancakes as we would eat, I served mom and dished up mine. I ate too fast. I added too much syrup. I ate too many pancakes. I felt uncomfortably full for hours. So did mom. I decided the right thing to do at that point was to drink lots of water to flush all that glop thru my system, but I could barely sip a little lukewarm coffee.

Stomach Soothing Complex and time were the only two things that helped. Tomorrow … I’m going back to fruit, cottage cheese and coffee with low fat milk.

Add a comment and let me know … What’s your favorite breakfast?  

Marilyn Kvasnok

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Thanksgiving TurkeyIt’s that time of year when everyone wishes Happy Holidays! But, wouldn’t it be nice to be wished HEALTHY Holidays, too? The Holidays are a wonderful time of year for everyone – Young and old. But, it can also be a whirlwind of parties with not-so-healthy food. Buffet tables are filled with high calorie, but low nutrition party food. I can picture it now … Bacon wrapped hors d’oeuvres, cocktail wieners, candied yams, marshmallow fruit salad, cookies and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. And lots of Holiday drinks.

Just because there’s a buffet table overflowing with food and an open bar, it doesn’t mean you have to eat everything you possible can. That may be easier said than done. So, here are Healthy Holiday Eating Tips . . .

Brain Fitness – Free Crossword Puzzle

Are you in a rut? Doing the same things day after day? Or not doing much of anything at all? Have you become a couch potato?

We all have a daily routine: Regular times to eat, sleep, shower, watch TV and work. There’s nothing wrong with having a routine. As a full time caregiver for my mom, who’s no longer independent, I thrive on routine. That way, both of us know what needs to be done and the schedule keeps us on track.

But, stimulating your brain with something new is the way to learn and grow. It’s also one way to improve memory and concentration.

Brain exercise is an important part of staying healthy. One way to challenge your brain is to play games – Any game that you find fun and stimulating.

Here’s a free online crossword puzzle. There’s a new one every day, so come back often to play.



Games at - Crossword Daily
Crossword Daily

Complete the crossword as quickly as you can.




Play this free game now!!

What other things can you do to improve memory?

Marilyn Kvasnok

Slow Food ~ The Healthy Alternative to Fast Food

Alice Waters is a pioneer. She’s been preaching the virtues of cultivating fresh food for decades. Lesley Stahl interviews this world-renowned chef and restaurateur. Alice Waters hopes a slower approach to the food we eat will keeps us healthier and greener.

From the Chez Panisse Restaurant website:
“Alice and Chez Panisse have become convinced that the best-tasting food is organically grown and harvested in ways that are ecologically sound, by people who are taking care of the land for future generations. The quest for such ingredients has largely determined the restaurant’s cuisine. Chez Panisse has tried for years to make diners here partake of the immediacy and excitement of vegetables just out of the garden, fruit right off the branch, and fish straight out of the sea. In doing so, Chez Panisse has stitched together a patchwork of over sixty nearby suppliers, whose concerns, like the restaurant’s, are environmental harmony and optimal flavor.”

Chez Panisse is located in Berkeley, California, but Alice Water’s influence extends far beyond.

Marilyn Kvasnok
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