Whatever the season, keeping active is crucial.
Among seniors, some run marathons or parachute or dance.
But unfortunately, others may not be able to engage in strenuous, albeit beneficial, exercise. In fact, seniors globally face a number of symptoms that can prevent them from being active, such as shortness of breath, vision loss and bone disease.
For these older people, they don’t have as many options in terms of activities to help them stay fit and healthy. This is especially true during the summer when it’s too hot and hazardous for them to be outdoors for extended periods.
So below are the top activities to help keep seniors active despite the heat.
Seniors who choose to be physically active often opt for low-impact workouts. These can help seniors improve their sense of balance, improve muscle strength, preserve bone density and contribute to lower risks of falls.
Aerobic exercises can also lower cholesterol levels, helping to offset the risks of heart disease.
During summer, however, certain exercises such as hiking and cycling aren’t recommended depending on the heat. That’s why a good number of older people invest in equipment including treadmills and exercise bikes.
Seniors may also opt for indoor low-impact aerobics such as yoga and pilates.
In addition, following fitness instructions and classes on YouTube is an extremely low-cost activity they can enjoy at home during the summer months.
Plus, plenty of seniors enjoy video games as a means of recreation.
According to the Digital Australia 2016 report, a 39 per cent of people over 64 years of age play video games — be it through PC, game consoles or mobile devices. Further statistics reveal that older people aged between 55 and 64 play around 80 minutes of video games per day.
Also referred to as gamercising, exergaming is the cross-breed between exercising and playing video games. These are games that require players to perform a cardio workout in order to complete a stage — usually with the help of a motion sensing accessory or controller.
Exergaming was prevalent in older generation consoles like the Nintendo Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360. There are also a handful of fitness titles for newer consoles including the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, such as Just Dance, Zumba Fitness and World Party. Otherwise there is the FitBit Coach app.
Another advantage of playing video games is that they offer mental stimulation to help seniors prevent the early onset of cognitive impairment, according to research.
And then there’s the low impact summer activity for all ages: swimming.
So as the temperature climbs, seniors have a lot of options for maintaining active lives.