Physical activity is essential for seniors. Exercise improves circulation, strengthens muscles needed for support, increases balance and encourages flexibility. Regular activity is also beneficial for mental health as it improves mood and can sharpen brain function. Almost every senior is capable of some form of regular physical activity. Here are a few examples of fitness programs for active agers.
- A simple fitness initiative for older adults involves regular daily activities. Seniors who walk to their mailboxes, cook dinner, wash dishes, walk their dogs and play with their grandchildren tend to maintain their independence longer than those who are sedentary.
- Activities performed in swimming pools benefit active agers. Low-impact water aerobic classes are often offered at recreation centers and places such as Merritt Clubs. These sessions can help seniors work out safely. People can also perform muscle-building and flexibility exercises in the water.
- Sitting exercises can benefit older adults who struggle with walking or have back or knee issues. There are programs offered at senior centers as well as videos that can guide people in performing these chair activities.
- Those in good health can join competitive athletic leagues for active agers. These programs serve already fit individuals looking for additional challenges. Many organizations offer "senior games" that provide competitions in swimming, tennis, archery and cycling among others. At Merritt Clubs Towson, senior members regularly play racquetball at the courts.