This is a guest post by Julia Dennis.
The benefits of exercise for seniors are numerous, helping to keep your body in shape, your mind sharp, and your mood positive. Even light activities like walking can make a big difference in your overall health.
Unfortunately, the summer months can make it hard to stay active. As you age, you’re at greater risk of heat-related illnesses, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, so you may be spending more time indoors to avoid the sun. How do you get around this?
- Make it a morning walk. Get up early and head out! You can avoid the hottest times of the day and the strongest sunlight by getting back before 10 am. Be safe by bringing along a bottle of water.
- Visit a museum, aquarium, or indoor cultural event. Too hot to take a walk outdoors even in the morning? Take one indoors. Visiting most museums, art shows, and other similar events requires a lot of walking if you want to get the most out of it. Many offer discounts to seniors, too!
- Join a senior center. Many offer indoor exercise classes specifically designed for seniors, so you won’t feel behind. Classes often vary in intensity, too, with some centers even offering classes specifically geared towards people who have trouble standing or walking.
- Go to a dance. If you live in a senior community, find out if they have a dance scheduled. If they don’t, find out how to organize one yourself. Dancing is a great way to get the body moving, and it’s a fun event that lets you socialize, too.
- Go for a swim. Find a community pool or rec center with a pool and dive in! The water will help keep your body temperature down while you get your heart rate up.
- Sign up for water aerobics. Not sure what to do once you get in the water? One of the best exercise routines for seniors is water aerobics since it is low impact. You may be surprised by how easy it is to find a class near you.
- Use that green thumb. Many people don’t think about gardening as a physical activity, but it requires a lot of movement and burns more calories than you realize. If you don’t have a backyard, you can look into helping out at a local community garden, or join a gardening club.
- Volunteer your time. Summer is a great time to look for ways to get out and give back to your community. Try VolunteerMatch or the SeniorCorps for ideas.
- Join a golf club. Golfing is a light physical activity that’s safe for most seniors, though during the summer months you may want to sign up for an early morning game. It’s also a great way to help you stay active mentally.
- Continue your normal routine. Do you regularly engage in exercises during the other months? It’s likely that you can keep it going even in the summer – just take it down a notch or schedule it earlier in the day. Talk to your doctor to find out what’s safe for you.
Remember, if you’re going to spend an extended period of time in the sun, don’t forget to dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and protect your skin with sunblock and a hat.
Author Bio: Julia Dennis writes about Eco Friendly Assisted living homes and other assisted living topics for Friendship Village. When she’s not writing she enjoys running and spending time with her children.