How Seniors Can Kick Start Their Fitness in the New Year

Seniors exercising

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), regular exercise and fitness activities can help senior adults stay independent and prevent many health problems that come with age. And as seniors get older, an active fitness lifestyle becomes increasingly important to their health.

As reported by HelpGuide, “A recent Swedish study found that physical activity was the number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life – even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years. But getting active is not just about adding years to your life; it’s about adding life to your years.

“Getting moving can help boost your energy, maintain your independence, protect your heart, and manage symptoms of illness or pain as well as your weight. Regular exercise is also good for your mind, mood, and memory.”

Says Janet McNemar, NHA, MBA, Executive Director at Bryn Mawr Terrace, located in Bryn Mawr, PA, “Remember, it’s never too late to start a fitness regimen, regardless of your age! So why not start the new year with a resolution to get fit and reap the rewards of a healthier, more active you?” 

The following expert fitness tips can help you get started.

A Senior Fitness Plan to Achieve a Healthier You!

Senior Exercise and Fitness Tips advises, “Staying active is not a science. Just remember that mixing different types of physical activity helps both to keep your workouts interesting and improve your overall health. The key is to find activities that you enjoy – based on the four building blocks of fitness.” 

These include:

  1. Balance Fitness – Balance activities can maintain seniors’ standing and stability skills, whether they are stationary or in motion. Seniors can try yoga, Tai Chi and posture exercises to gain confidence with their balance. Good balance is especially important for preventing falls.
  2. Cardiovascular Fitness – Cardio fitness uses large muscle groups in rhythmic motions over a period of time. Cardio workouts get your heart pumping, and you may even feel a little short of breath. To improve their cardio health and fitness, seniors can try walking, stair climbing, swimming, hiking, cycling, rowing, tennis, and dancing. Tailor your cardio fitness to the activities you enjoy. 
  3. Strength Training for Fitness – This type of fitness training can build seniors’ muscle groups with repetitive motion using weight or external resistance from body weight, machines, free weights, or elastic bands. Strength training helps prevent loss of bone mass, builds muscle and improves balance in seniors, which are all important for staying active, preventing osteoporosis and avoiding falls.
  4. Flexibility Training for Fitness – This fitness activity helps seniors’ joints move freely through a full range of motion. Flexibility fitness can be achieved through stationary stretches and stretches that involve movement to keep muscles and joints supple and less prone to injury. Yoga is considered an excellent means of improving flexibility in seniors.
  5. Sleep – While not usually considered one of the four core fitness components, getting enough sleep is also a critical factor in promoting seniors’ fitness, health and overall wellness. Being too tired during the day can hamper seniors’ ability to be physically active and fit.   

According to health and fitness experts, seniors need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Also, seniors should avoid daytime naps, which can keep them up in the evening. If you have difficulty sleeping, read “Why Seniors Have Difficulty Getting a Good Night's Sleep and 9 Tips That Can Help.” You can also visit the National Sleep Foundation website for more tips on how to sleep better.

Janet adds, “Before starting any fitness and exercise program, be sure to speak with your doctor. He or she may have some specific suggestions based on your current health status and the activities you most enjoy!”

For more helpful senior living and senior care information, we invite you to read our monthly articles and tips on a variety of important senior health topics. We also welcome you to stop in for a tour to see for yourself why we’ve been rated “Best in Senior Care.”

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, “How Seniors Can Kick Start Their Fitness in the New Year,” we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section.

A Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

There are times when the challenges associated with advanced age, a prolonged illness or a chronic condition make 24-hour care and support a necessity. At Bryn Mawr Terrace, we’re always here for you and your family. Our compassionate, professional team treats our residents as family and respects each of them as the individuals they are, all with their own unique life story.

We understand that each one of our residents has unique needs and desires, so we deliver personalized care and services that are tailored to each individual. The amenities and activities offered within our community are designed to keep our residents happy, fulfilled and living well. From delicious dining to a variety of social programming, we offer a lifestyle that’s meant to be lived!

Located near Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr Terrace – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has provided exceptional care and services to seniors and their families since 1966. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Bryn Mawr Terrace serves as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), offering a range of services – including short-term rehabilitationtraditional nursing careindependent living, personal carememory care,restorative care and respite care – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing. 

For more information on Bryn Mawr Terrace and our variety of needs-based lifestyle services, please call us at 610.525.8300 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Bryn Mawr Terrace and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.

Bryn Mawr Terrace

Rated Best in Senior Care!

View Our Recent Recognition