8 Sports for the Elderly, Safe and Minimal Injury

As we get older, exercise is less and less. The most classic reason is that physical endurance is not as strong as it was before and is plagued by health problems.

It is true that as we get older, high-intensity exercise becomes more difficult to do and can pose a risk of serious injury. But fortunately, there are 8 sports that are safe and minimal injury to bones and joints that are suitable for older people.

The benefits of still exercising in old age have been shown to maintain endurance, increase strength, slow dementia, and reduce the risk of developing various chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

The following are recommendations for sports that are safe for the elderly to stay in shape in their golden age, quoted from various sources.

1. On foot

The elderly can choose to walk at a steady pace or increase the intensity by climbing stairs. Both are beneficial for health

Exercise doesn’t have to be extreme. Walking is the simplest and most effective form of exercise for older people.

elderly who walk at least 30 minutes every day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 40 percent.

The thought of walking for 30 minutes might be a strenuous activity for an elderly person with foot health problems.

But try to walk slowly while wandering around the housing and breathing fresh air which can improve both physical and psychological conditions.

2. Walk briskly

For the elderly who are in better physical condition, they can try to increase the intensity of walking faster (treadmill walking).

Similar to aerobics, this one sport is useful for increasing heart rate and body muscles. Unlike jogging, brisk walking is a physical exercise that has the potential for less joint injury.

However, not many people know that brisk walking is not just ‘fast walking’. Brisk walking has a technique to maximize the benefits felt by the body.

Unlike walking in general, brisk walking simply improves gait by taking into account a steady and consistent change of foot speed and swinging your hips slightly with each step.

Brisk walking works to train body strength and maintain good posture because the back is straight and the shoulders are straight.

3. Yoga

As a sport that is suitable for all ages, yoga has become part of a healthy lifestyle in the modern era.

Even yoga people over 55 years of age who experience joint problems such as gout or arthritis are advised to do yoga because it makes bones and joints more flexible.

yoga is a great exercise option because it doesn’t require special equipment and can be done anywhere, even in a wheelchair.

For the elderly, yoga is very useful for training bone and muscle strength to support body weight. In addition, yoga is also good for maintaining mental health in the elderly. The combination of movement and relaxation in yoga has an impact on calming the physical and mind.

4. Swimming

Swimming is safe for anyone, especially pregnant women or the elderly who suffer from joint problems or heart disease.

Swimming is a recommended sport for achieving fitness without the risk of injury to the knee and brittle joints.

As well as aerobic benefits, swimming can build endurance, strengthen the heart, lower blood pressure, and increase lung capacity.

All of them will make the body stronger and increase the confidence of the elderly.

5. Gymnastics

Gymnastics involves active movement of all limbs, as well as training the strength and balance of the body. Gymnastics has also proven to be an effective way to increase strength in the elderly because of the dynamic movements.

There are many types of exercise that are intended for the elderly, such as aerobics, salsa, chairs, to jazz exercises which are useful for maintaining muscle mass and increasing bone strength.

Exercise for the elderly can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Even according to the American Council on Exercise, gymnastics can slow dementia in older people.

seniors can do aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Simply prepare a video exercise at home or visit the elderly gymnastics community to start exercising immediately.

6. Stretch the calves

When entering the old age phase, many parents complain that their legs are not strong enough to use for walking, let alone running. To increase leg muscle strength, you can try light exercise such as stretching your calves.

Calf muscle stretches can strengthen the lower body, which is important as a balance and improves speed when walking.

Doing this exercise regularly and in the right way can help pump large volumes of blood from the legs to the upper body to the brain. To start a calf stretch, you can start in a sitting or standing position.

If you are stretching your calves while standing, simply find a solid wall. Stand facing a wall with your hands at eye level.

Then place your left foot behind your right leg. Keep your left heel on the floor and bend your right knee. Finally, hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat two to four times per leg.

If you want to stretch your calves in a sitting position, you need a towel as a base for your feet. First, sit on the floor with your legs straight. Place a towel around the sole of your right foot and hold it both ends.

Pull the towel towards your body while keeping your knees straight and hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise two to four times per leg.

7. Lift the weights

As you get older, lifting everyday heavy-duty objects such as bags, gallons, and so on becomes a bit difficult to do. It is only natural because the activity of lifting weights weakened arm muscles in old age.

No need to worry, actually lifting weights is a type of exercise that is safe for the elderly to train bicep muscle strength.

Based on research from Penn State College of Medicine, strength training such as lifting weights can reduce the risk of premature death, especially in the elderly.

However, it should be noted carefully that lifting weights for the elderly must be adapted to body conditions and habits.

If an elderly person has been inactive for a long time, it is best to be accompanied by a sports instructor or start with the lightest object and then gradually increase the load.

For the elderly who want to start lifting weights, can do it in a sitting or standing position.

To do this, hold the load with your hands down, right at your sides with your palms facing up and your elbows facing your body.

Then start bending your elbows and lifting weights towards your chest. Hold each rep for a few seconds, then slowly lower your arms. Do it for 10 times, with a rest inserted when doing the repetition.

8. Cycling

Cycling is one of the best sports for an aging body with minimal risk of sprains because it doesn’t put a lot of stress on the knees, joints or ankles.

When pedaling, the foot creates a smooth, steady and steady motion. Not only recommended for parents, cycling is also a perfect sport for people who are recovering from injuries.

Cycling routine helps improve the cardiovascular work system, strengthens the heart and lungs, relaxes muscles, and reduces tension in joints.

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