As the the baby boomers age the number of adults over 55 is growing rapidly. They call it The Silver Tsunami Ive worked with aging adults over the last 22 years and there is definitely a shift in mind set in the baby boomer generation. For one, they are more proactive about their health and more likely to participate in exercise and physical activity. This is wonderful but is this age group getting the right kind of physical activity.Drive by any senior living community or suburban neighborhood on a nice day and you will see people out walking. Walking is great exercise, it burns calories, improves aerobic conditioning and its functional.but walking is not enough. The ACSM recommends 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity a day, thats 30 min 5 times a week. They also recommend strength training a minimum of 2 days a week and to also incorporate balance training as well.Benefits of Strength Training for Older AdultsWe begin to lose muscle mass in our 30s and the process only speeds up as we age and more exponentially for those who are sedentary. Strength training has shown to not only help older adults live longer but improve their quality of life as well. With benefits such as:Improved strengthImproved muscle massImproved physical functionImproved management or risk of developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, and osteoporosisManage conditions such as low back pain and obesityHowever some surveys report only 9% of older adults participate in some sort of strength training. And these recommendations are not just for healthy active aging adults, the same hold true for frail adults as well. There is even evidence that improved diet along with strength training can reverse frailty in older adults.What types of Strength Training?The ACSM recommends 8-10 strength training exercise with 10-15 reps per exercise. These exercises should address all the muscle groups. Also to reap the long term benefit for strength training, the program should be progressive. This means you need to make it harder. The last 2-3 reps of each exercise should be somewhat difficult, it you are completing 15 reps easily you need to increase your weight. That means put those 2lb pink weights away!! Strength training can include:Free weights or weight machinesResistance bandsBody weight exercises (good ole counter push ups!!)Is Strength Training OK for Everyone?With a few unusual exceptions, I would say YES!!! Always check with your doctor before starting any kind of new exercise program, and if you have any health conditions, such as arthritis or cardiac conditions, check with your doctor to see if you have any lifting restrictions. However I am here to tell you strength training is beneficial at most any age. I have been working with a client for the past year. She is 95 years old, about 411 and maybe 90 pounds. When we started she could lift a 1 pound weight and needed frequent rest breaks. Today we are using 3 pound weights, shes moved up 3 levels in resistance bands, takes only 2 breaks and her family is even considering traveling with her cross country to visit family because she is functioning so much better. The focus of her program has been strength and balance training. And I dont feel she is an exception, many seniors out there have the same potential given the right guidance.Where to Start?Start with a medical clearance from your doctor to be sure exercise is safe for you. There are actually very few instances where exercise in contraindicated. Once cleared there are several avenues you can take.Check out your local senior center, they often have low cost exercise programs, but make sure you are advancing your weight or resistance to get the most benefit.Youtube has tons and tons of videos of exercise programs and yes, they have videos geared to seniors.Check out your local gym. Most gyms offer a few free sessions with a personal trainer to get you started and make sure you are using proper form.Community and Apartment gyms. The community you live in may have a great fitness facility and maybe even classes.Personal Training. Now as a personal trainer I am biased here. But I do believe its a good investment to make sure you are getting a program thats right for you and that your are progressing appropriately to get the most benefit. Make sure you research the trainer you are considering. Are they Certified by a reputable organization? ACSM, NASM, and ACE are some of your most reputable. Are they experienced in working with adults over 55? Look for certified Senior Fitness Specialist or someone with a proven track record working with seniors. Ask for references specifically from other seniors or family.Strength training should be a corner stone of any fitness program but it is especially important for adults over 55 in order to remain strong and independent as they age.
For retired seniors, creative activities are more than just fun. Hobbies prevent boredom, increase satisfaction with life after retirement, and can even help prevent and delay dementia and cognitive decline. Studies have shown that creative activities can help with Alzheimers and other types of dementia. For those who are already suffering from dementia, creative activities can be a great treatment option and help seniors express and access emotion. Getting creative engages the brain in ways that daily life doesnt and helps keep you sharp well into your later years. Many seniors find themselves with a lot of time to fill once theyve retired. Hobbies can help fill your days with meaningful, fun, and satisfying activities. Taking classes or joining groups of others who share your hobbies can also provide you with meaningful social connection, which is vitally important for seniors health and happiness. Whether you want to revisit old hobbies or find new ones, youll love this list of 10 creative activities for seniors to enjoy! 10 Creative Activities for SeniorsDancingDancing as a hobby has many benefits. It is, of course, very helpful for staying fit and improving core strength, balance, and muscle tone. Dance is also often a social event that makes it easier to stay connected to others and make new friends. There are many different styles of dance, from adult ballet classes to line dancing and ballroom, to energetic Zumba. For those with a more casual interest in dance, line dancing or social dances can be a fun way to get to know new people and get a little movement in. Seniors who are serious about their athletic pursuits might enjoy taking dance classes at a local gym, community center, or senior living community.CraftingMany types of crafts are available for a wide range of interests and skill levels. Some crafts seniors enjoy include:KnittingCrochetScrapbookingWoodworkingOrigamiVinyl and paper craftsSewingStained glassCollageFloral arrangingTry something new or take up a craft you used to enjoy. You can use books, online or in-person classes, or even YouTube to learn a new craft or refresh your skills. If youre worried about getting stuck, start with simpler crafts and move on to more advanced ones as you improve your proficiency. Painting and DrawingYou have many options when it comes to painting and drawing. While some of us might be gifted at drawing lifelike still-lifes, portraits, or animals, even beginners can enjoy creating more abstract art or landscapes. MasterClass or Skillshare offer many types of drawing and painting classes to get you started. YouTube also has lots of online teachers and even online courses. Additionally, you could get books from your local library on this subject. Painting is a great fine motor activity that also allows you to express your creativity and create something beautiful for your home or a loved ones home. Some artists find success selling their art, either in person at craft fairs and boutiques, or online on sites like Etsy. Cooking and BakingLearning healthy cooking and baking skills can be a great asset to your health and happiness. Baking delicious treats is also a good way to make new friends or impress your neighbors at your senior living community. Or make a meal for your loved ones to bring people together and enjoy important social connection. MusicPlaying or listening to music is a fun creative activity for seniors. Music has also been proven to be an effective treatment for the management of dementia symptoms (4). If youre feeling ambitious, you could learn a new instrument. Playing the piano is a great place to start, although upright pianos are difficult to move and store. Electronic keyboards are inexpensive, take up little room, and allow you to practice your craft using headphones. If you play an instrument, consider finding a local music group where you can play with others. If youre not feeling ambitious enough to learn to play an instrument, music can still be a great hobby. Listening to music will lift anyones mood, and now is a great time to explore new music styles and artists. Listening to live music is an excellent social activity, whether its a concert at your local conservatory or just a coffee shop open mike night. GardeningGardening is an amazingly therapeutic hobby that can have both physical and emotional benefits. Starting a garden can be intimidating, not to mention expensive, so you may want to start small. Growing houseplants or joining a community garden can be a great way to begin. A windowsill herb garden will provide you not only with delicious herbs, but also a beautiful view and a sense of creative accomplishment. WritingCreative writing and poetry can be a brilliant means of expression and creative outlet. If youre feeling overwhelmed at the idea of writing the next great American novel, try a simple daily writing exercise. Try writing one page of literally anything! You might be surprised at what comes out. You could also consider creating a memoir or autobiography of your life for your descendants to read. Your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or other family members and loved ones will likely find your life story inspiring and fascinating. Acting or TheaterIts never too late to try something new. Try your hand at acting! Seniors are often in demand for most local theater productions. Even a small background part or a non-speaking part can give you a fun way to spend part of your days and allow you to meet new people in your community. You may be surprised at how thrilling live performance can be, no matter what part you play in the production. PotteryMaking something with your hands is a good creative activity for many seniors. It allows you to express yourself creatively and provides a unique sensory experience that helps keep your brain young. Youll need some specialized equipment, so look for a class near you. Live pottery classes are available almost anywhere. Check with your local art center, library, or university. Digital ArtDigital art is a challenging and satisfying artistic medium. Its a good option for seniors with arthritis, Parkinsons, or other physical challenges that make using your hands more difficult. Graphic design, digital painting, or photo manipulation using software and tablets can open up new artistic possibilities. Hobbies are not just a fun way to pass the time for retired seniors, although they do excel in that regard. Creative activities are a way to improve life satisfaction, stimulate your brain, and prevent dementia and cognitive decline. Stellar Living hopes you enjoy these 10 creative activities for seniors!
When it comes to staying active, theres no off-season for older adults. Dual-dwelling retireeswho keep their bodies moving year-roundno matter where theyre livingexperience higher levels of happiness, satisfaction, and overall well-being. And with exercise always in season, seniors can sweat anytime, anywhere. Many activities dont require equipment, a fitness facility, or an athletic trainertheyre workouts you can do close to home. Streaming services and YouTube provide the convenience of exercising anytime and anywhere. SilverSneakers, Senior Fitness With Meredith and NativePath are just a few resources offering free or on-demand exercise videos for active older adults. Walking is a low-impact exercise that requires no equipment and is simple to do anywherewhether youre getting your steps in by pacing your spacious apartment home or penthouse or strolling white sand beaches. Yoga, stretching, and resistance bands are other forms of exercise that can improve flexibility, balance, and strength, while gardening can also provide a good workout. Turning up your favorite tunes and throwing yourself an at-home dance party is a fun way to get moving, break a sweat, and improve cardiovascular health. Seated to Strong: Seven Chair Exercises for Seniors A sturdy chair with armrests is all you need to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Here are seven seated exercises for seniors that you can do anywhere. Start each activity by sitting in a sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor. Seated leg raises: Lift one leg straight out in front of you, hold for a few seconds, and lower it back down. Repeat with the other leg. Arm raises: Hold a light weight (or a can of soup) in each hand. Raise your arms straight to shoulder level, hold for a few seconds, and lower them back down. Seated twists: Hold a light weight (or a can of soup) in each hand. Twist your upper body to the left, then right, keeping your hips facing forward. Seated marches: Lift one knee toward your chest, hold for a few seconds, and lower it back down. Repeat with the other leg. Shoulder rolls: Roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion, then backward. Calf raises: Lift your heels off the ground and onto your toes, hold for a few seconds, and lower your heels back down. Seated dips: Place your hands on the armrests, lift your hips off the seat, hold for a few seconds, and lower your hips back down. Stay Active as You Age; Stay Young at Heart As we age, moving our bodies becomes more important than ever before. Its no secret that staying active has numerous benefits. Regular physical activity improves physical health by reducing the risk of developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and arthritis. By staying active, seniors can maintain independence and reduce their risk of falls.Older adults who embrace an active lifestyle also have more opportunities to socialize and engage with others. Another mental health benefit includes reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies also suggest regular exercise can improve cognitive function and lead to a longer lifespan. All-Year Active Living at The Glenview At The Glenview, were committed to supporting active lifestyles, regardless of the season. Our health and wellness resources are always available, whether you live year-round on our beachside campus or are a split-season resident. And, when you return to your exclusive beach community in Naples, Florida, there will be even more health and fitness opportunities waiting for you at The Glenview whether at home, on land, or in the water.