Maintaining your physical and mental health in old age is quite a task. As you get older, it is inevitable for your body to lose strength and energy gradually. Old age can be quite frustrating for people to accept because of these problems. But it’s not a situation without any remedies, you can keep your physical and mental well-being intact by keeping a healthy diet and following effective warm-up exercises for seniors routine.
Exercising regularly can solve a lot of physical problems. But exercising is only effective when done right. Exercising without a proper warm-up and cool-down routine can turn up as counterproductive, especially in older adults because they are more prone to health risks than youngsters. So let’s take a look at some effective warm-up exercises for seniors through this article.
What are the benefits of warm-up exercises for seniors?
Exercising requires some amount of physical strength and a lot of energy. For seniors, these can be hard to muster up within a few minutes. Exercising without warming up can cause injuries, heart issues, blood pressure levels to increase, and many other problems. These can be all the more harmful to older adults.
Here is how warming up before exercising can be helpful to seniors:
- Warm-ups increase your body temperature and get you energized before exercising.
- They increase blood circulation and reduce health risks for seniors.
- Warming up will help in increasing blood oxygen levels and reduce the risk of suffocation and breathlessness while exercising.
- Warming up loosens up muscles and joints so they reduce the risk of cramps and spasms.
- Warm-ups slowly accommodate your heart rate to your exercise routine, so physical activities don’t put a lot of strain on your heart.
Here’s another article on what men over 60 need to know about their health.
4 types of warm-up exercises
Now you know that warm-ups are an important part of your exercise routine, especially for seniors. But did you know there are 4 different types of warm-up exercises that you can include in your routine depending on your physical needs and the exercise routine you opt for? Here are the 4 types of stretching exercises for seniors:
Dynamic stretching is a kind of mock-exercising before you begin your actual routine. It is basically doing your routine repeatedly in a relaxed and chill manner, so it helps your body become accustomed to the physical activities you’ll be doing. If you’re wondering what are the best exercises for older adults, this is it!
Active warm-ups are a less intense form of warming up but they help in elevating your blood flow and increasing energy levels in the body. This could be done through flapping hands or jogging, etc. It’s one of the best forms of warm-up exercises for adults over 60.
Static stretching is quite a conservative form of warming up. It’s not advised for the elderly as it requires holding a specific position for some time to help in building core strength. In the long run, warm-ups like planks or situps can be counter-productive for seniors.
A passive warm-up is a relaxing, yet slightly inefficient method of warming up. Passive warm-ups increase your body temperature and energy levels through some external stimulus like hot showers or steam. They are not as effective as active warm-ups but they are quite beneficial for relaxation.
5 easy warm-up exercises for seniors
Reading up all about warm-up exercises for seniors and their benefits is a great way to draw up an effective exercise plan. Among the warm-up exercises listed above, dynamic stretching is preferred the most for older adults as they are effective and non-strenuous. So let’s take a look at 5 essential warm-up exercises for seniors:
Arm swinging is one of the easiest and most effective forms of warm-up exercises for seniors. Swinging your arms clockwise and then anticlockwise in a paced manner can relax your muscles and alleviate your energy levels. Arm swinging can be done while walking or even standing still, it will help in keeping your body active and your mind free either way.
Brisk walking is a fast-paced manner of walking, also called power walking. It is much more beneficial than a moderately-paced walk. Adults over the age of 50 are more likely to encounter heart problems, and brisk walking is the best way to build stamina and keep your heart healthier.
Regular walking is a good warm-up, but brisk walking helps in increasing heart rate in a regulated manner and keeps your body free of heart issues and stress.
Ankle circles might sound very complex, but they are an easy and beneficial warm-up exercise for adults before walking. It’s all about relaxing your feet muscles to avoid sprains or spasms while walking. Rotating your ankles clockwise and anticlockwise in circles will help you walk longer and faster without any injuries or cramps.
Hula hoop hips
Hula hoops hips are a really enjoyable and easy way of warming up. It’s one of the most fun warm-up exercises for seniors. It’s like playing with an invisible hula hoop and rotating your hips in the same manner. It gets your adrenaline pumped up and keeps you physically fit and relieves your mind of stress.
If you’re looking for simple ways how to exercise at home for seniors, hula hoop hips are the perfect option.
Air squats are a bit more demanding than your usual warm-ups, but they are all the more effective as well. For the elderly, knee problems are a huge barrier to exercising properly as knee cramps and spasms can be quite painful. But air squats are a great way to avoid these problems.
To do an air squat, you need to spread your feet wide apart and pull your hips down to mimic sitting in a chair (but without a chair!), and then pull your body back up. Repeating this motion in a moderately paced manner can be really helpful in maintaining core strength and stamina.
Warm-up exercises are an essential part of any exercise routine. Warming up helps you avoid many health risks, injuries, and cramps. It’s vital to have a warm-up routine that’s complementary to your exercise regimen. Warm-up exercises for seniors can be of many types, but it’s believed that dynamic warm-ups are the best way to pump up your heart and mind.
For older citizens, warming up should involve activities that engage their hearts, mind, and body equally without putting a lot of physical strain on their bodies. Easy warm-up exercises for seniors like hula hoop hips, arms swinging, ankle circles, and air squats can be a great way to start their workout. Brisk walking or power walking is also an effective way of warming up by increasing the heart rate and engaging the whole body.