6 Ways for Seniors to Stay Active
Staying active is essential for everyone, especially seniors. Physical activity can help seniors improve their health, prevent chronic diseases, and enhance their quality of life. However, staying active can also be challenging for seniors, who may face barriers such as lack of motivation, accessibility, or safety issues. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 6 ways for seniors to stay active that are fun, easy, and suitable for their needs and preferences. Whether you’re a senior yourself or a caregiver for an old, we hope you’ll find some inspiration and guidance from this article.
- Staying active can benefit seniors in many ways, such as improving physical and mental health, preventing chronic diseases, and enhancing quality of life.
- There are six ways for seniors to stay active that are fun, easy, and suitable for their needs and preferences: joining a senior-friendly exercise class, walking with a pet or a friend, doing some gardening or yard work, playing a video game or a board game, volunteering for a cause or a community, and trying something new or learning a new skill.
- These activities can help seniors improve their strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination, stimulate their brain, boost their mood, and socialize with others.
- Seniors can find and join these activities by checking with local senior centers, fitness centers, or online platforms, choosing a suitable route, pace, and duration, using raised beds, containers, or tools that are easy to handle, choosing a game that is suitable for their skill level and preference, finding a cause or a community that aligns with their values and passions, and exploring the options and opportunities available.
- Seniors should find an activity they enjoy, schedule regularly, track their progress and results, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, stay hydrated, and take breaks.
Join a Senior-Friendly Exercise Class
One of the best ways for seniors to stay active is to join a senior-friendly exercise class. Exercise classes help seniors improve their strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination, essential for maintaining mobility and independence. Exercise classes can also help seniors socialize with others who share their interests and goals, which can improve their mental health and well-being.
Many exercise classes, such as yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, and dance, suit seniors. These classes are low-impact, gentle, and adaptable to different levels of fitness and ability. They can also be fun, relaxing, and enjoyable, involving music, movement, and breathing techniques.
To find and join a senior-friendly exercise class, you can check with your local senior center, fitness center, or online platform, such as SilverSneakers, which offers free access to thousands of fitness locations and classes for seniors eligible for Medicare. You can also ask your doctor, friends, or family for recommendations or try a free trial class before committing to a membership or a subscription.
Walk with a Pet or a Friend
Another simple and effective way for seniors to stay active is to walk with a pet or a friend. Walking is a low-impact and accessible exercise that can help seniors improve their cardiovascular health, burn calories, and reduce stress. Walking can also be enjoyable, rewarding, and safe for seniors, as they can walk with a pet or a friend who can provide companionship and support.
Walking with a pet can be especially beneficial for seniors, as it can enhance their mood, creativity, and cognitive function and strengthen their bond with their furry friend. Walking with friends can also benefit seniors, increasing their motivation, accountability, and social interaction and reducing loneliness and isolation.
To walk with a pet or a friend, choose a suitable route, pace, and duration that matches your fitness level and preference. You can also vary your route, pace, and duration to keep your walks exciting and challenging. You should also wear comfortable shoes and clothing, stay hydrated, and take breaks as needed. You can also use a pedometer, a smartphone app, or a fitness tracker to monitor your steps, distance, and calories burned.
Do Some Gardening or Yard Work
If you enjoy being outdoors and working with plants, you can do gardening or yard work to stay active. Gardening or yard work can be a form of physical activity that can help seniors enhance their mood, creativity, and cognitive function and beautify their environment. Gardening or yard work can also be adapted to suit the abilities and interests of seniors, as they can use raised beds, containers, or tools that are easy to handle and choose plants that are easy to grow and maintain.
To do gardening or yard work, you can plan and decide what plants you want to grow, such as flowers, herbs, vegetables, or fruits. You can also consider the season, the climate, and the space available. You should also wear protective gear, such as gloves, hats, and sunscreen, and take breaks as needed. You can also ask for help from a family member, a friend, or a professional if you require assistance or advice.
Play a Video Game or a Board Game
Playing a video game or a board game can be another way seniors can stay mentally and physically active. Playing a video or board game can help seniors stimulate their brains, improve their memory and concentration, and enhance their hand-eye coordination and reaction time. Playing a video game or a board game can also be fun, challenging, and interactive for seniors, as they can play with others or by themselves and enjoy entertainment and learning opportunities.
Many video games or board games, such as puzzles, trivia, strategy, or card games, are suitable for seniors. These games can be played on various devices, such as computers, tablets, smartphones, consoles, or on a table or a board. They can also be customized to the skill level and preference of the senior, such as the difficulty, the speed, or the theme.
To play a video game or a board game, you can choose a game that you like or want to try and use a device that is easy to operate. You can also play with others, such as family members, friends, or online players, or by yourself, depending on your mood and availability. You can also set a time limit, a score goal, or a reward system to make your game more exciting and motivating.
Volunteer for a Cause or a Community
Volunteering can be an excellent way for seniors to stay active, give back to society, make a difference, and meet new people. Volunteering can be a form of social and physical activity that can help seniors improve their health, happiness, and self-esteem and provide a sense of purpose and belonging. Volunteering can also be rewarding, meaningful, and fulfilling for seniors, who can use their skills, talents, and experiences to help others in need.
There are many ways for seniors to volunteer, such as for a cause or a community that aligns with their values and passions, such as animal welfare, environmental protection, education, or health care. They can also volunteer for various tasks, such as tutoring, mentoring, fundraising, or delivering meals. They can also volunteer for a flexible or a fixed amount of time, depending on their availability and commitment.
To volunteer, you can find a cause or community you care about and contact the organization that supports it. You can also ask your friends, family, or neighbors for suggestions or search online for opportunities, such as on VolunteerMatch, which connects volunteers with nonprofits. You can also seek guidance and support from the organization and follow its rules and regulations.
Try Something New or Learn a New Skill
The last way seniors stay active is to try something new or learn a new skill. Trying something new or learning a new skill can be a form of cognitive and physical activity that can help seniors expand their horizons, boost their confidence, and increase their self-esteem. Trying something new or learning a new skill can also be exciting, adventurous, and satisfying for seniors, as they can discover new things, challenge themselves, and achieve their goals.
There are many things that seniors can try or learn, such as a new language, instrument, hobby, or sport. These things can be discovered online, such as on YouTube, Udemy, or Duolingo, or offline, such as in a class, a workshop, or a club. Depending on their interest and ability, they can also be learned at their own pace, level, and style.
To try something new or learn a new skill, you can explore the options and opportunities and choose something you are curious or passionate about. You can also set realistic and attainable goals and track your progress and results. You can also seek feedback and encouragement from others, such as instructors, peers, or family members.