You don’t need to train like Ivan Drago to gain all the health benefits of physical activity.
Research suggests that these three exercises for seniors are the best to build strength and boost heart health:
It’s time to tango because dancing is one of the best workouts for both body and mind.
One recent study compared the effects of dancing to walking, stretching and toning in adults aged 60 to 79. After six months, only dancing slowed the degeneration of cerebral white matter—a process that’s associated with cognitive decline. The study went on to conclude that the physical, social and mental challenges of dancing (think memorizing steps!) are behind these unique benefits.
Dancing also counts towards the goal of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week, as recommended by the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.
Swimming is perfect for seniors – it’s easy on the joints, is good for the body in numerous ways, and checks off the aerobic and strength-training goals outlined by Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines.
Research shows that regular swimming can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as reduce stress and improve your mood. It’s the ideal full-body workout, covering all major muscle groups, and can be done on your own or in a social setting (which is a mental health benefit, too).
But most importantly, it’s fun!
Tai chi is a zen-like activity that improves strength, flexibility and balance without stressing out your joints. It’s good for people of any age, and in any setting.
Besides improving balance—a key consideration as you age—tai chi is also great for the mind. Its slow and deliberate movements demand total concentration, putting you into a state of meditative flow.
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