Seniors should maintain age-appropriate activity throughout the year, regardless of the temperature outside. However, by choosing low-stress activities and taking care to avoid excessive heat and humidity, summer offers many safe, healthy opportunities to remain active and engaged.
6 Great Senior Summer Workouts
Walking: A walk around the block, the park or even the yard will help condition the body. In fact, walking is probably the ideal fitness activity for most seniors, from the fittest many-milers to the slow-moving novices. Wear good, comfortable shoes, drink plenty of water, and take your walk early or late in the day in torrid weather. Walking with a friend is especially enjoyable and, short of that, listening to audio books can allow you to breeze through pages while you go through your paces.
Yoga: Yoga has become very popular in the U.S., with nearly every community offering one or more yoga centers where a beginner can learn the basic yoga stretching exercises (asanas) with the help of an experienced teacher and the company and mutual encouragement of group participants. Once you’ve learned the basics, yoga on your own at home becomes an option. In pleasant weather, performing these exercises in an outside setting can be especially enjoyable.
Golf: This sport can be frustrating for sure, but golf provides a lifetime of challenge, mild exercise, and fun. If the golf course allows it, and you’re up to it, leave the golf cart at the club house and walk the course.
Tai-Chi: An early morning group of seniors participating in Tai-Chi is a common sight on a trip to China or near your local Chinatown. Tai-Chis is an Asian physical and mental discipline that uses graceful, almost dance-like flowing motions to build strength, flexibility, focus, and mental calm. Like yoga, you won’t need any special equipment to practice Tai-Chi, and once the basics are mastered in a group, you can enjoy sessions at home on your own.
Gardening: Maintaining a garden of any type and size entails some effort and much satisfaction. The thrill of watching plants grow and the joy of helping them to produce beautiful blooms or delicious, fresh food gives gardeners exercise and bountiful satisfaction. Stay out of the hot sun, of course, wear a hat and sunscreen, and work on your little patch of paradise in the morning or evening.
Water Aerobics and Swimming: Water exercises help strengthen many muscles, build endurance and, for many arthritis sufferers, offer pain relief. Many fitness clubs and swim centers offer group classes. If you’re lucky enough to have your own pool or beach, you can practice many wate-aerobic activities at home. Swimming provides a lot of the same benefits, fostering fitness and enjoyment whatever your ability level.
Tips for Safe Summertime Outdoor Activity
- Early or late is best on hot days
- Dehydration is dangerous. Drink plenty of fluids.
- Always wear sun block and a hat for daytime outdoor activities
- When exercising alone, carry a cell phone or wear a medical alert device so you have the ability to easily summon help if needed. Philips Lifeline’s medical alert systems are a widely used technology that brings peace of mind to seniors and their caregivers, and the mobile GoSafeoption works even when you are away from home3, making it a great choice for active seniors.