- Aquatic centers-Many pools offer specialized classes just for seniors. These classes range from senior water aerobics, to specialized classes for those suffering from MS or arthritis. If you are worried that your senior’s mobility may limit being able to get in and out of the pool, many pools have seated lifts, that can gently lower, and raise, anyone with mobility difficulties, both in and out of the pool. One of the major benefits, of water classes is the low impact on joints, and the minimal risk of injury or falling.
- Gyms-Many fitness clubs are now offering specialized classes, for the elderly. These can include: weight lifting for seniors (this helps maintain mobility and improve circulation), aerobics, and even classes using the popular “Sit and Be Fit” method, for seniors with low mobility. There are some gyms that are even offering classes, for wheelchair bound seniors that work on improving circulation, and upper body strength. Check with your local fitness clubs to see what is offered. It is also advisable to check with your insurance, as many carriers are now willing to pay some or all of the cost of a gym membership, as a preventative health measure.
- Senior centers-There is many senior citizen centers that offer fitness classes. These often range from classes that are geared toward seniors with limited mobility or who are wheel-chair bound, to social dancing classes for those seniors who want something more active. These classes are usually low-cost (and sometimes free), and one of the biggest benefits is that it gives seniors a chance to socialize, promoting good emotional health, as well as physical.
- Mall-It may surprise many people that malls, have become a fitness mecca for some seniors. Many mall walking clubs meet regularly, for exercise and socializing. Many of these clubs advertise within the mall, or in community papers. One of the major benefits of this type of exercise is that there is usually a wide range of walkers, from power walkers, to those who just want to stroll.
Whatever options your senior chooses to do there are certain common sense measure to keep in mind. Some of these are-
- Dress comfortably and appropriately-Many seniors downplay the need for appropriate footwear. It is important to wear loose, comfortable, clothing and well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Your shoes should have a good arch support, and an elevated and cushioned heel to absorb shock.
- Start slowly-Anyone beginning an exercise program should begin slowly, but this is especially true, for seniors. This will help lesson the risk of injury. You should start with exercises that you are already comfortable doing. Starting slowly also helps prevent soreness. Remember that you do not have to exercise, at a high intensity, to get most health benefits.
- Consider walking-If joining a class is not appealing then just beginning walking. One of the best ways to do this is, as you become used to exercising, or if you are already active, you can slowly increase the intensity of your exercise program.