Cardio endurance exercises are those which increase both your heart rate and breathing rate for an extended time. This type of exercise program is beneficial to seniors for numerous reasons, including better equipping them for independence and improving endurance for such everyday activities such as house cleaning, cooking, walking, and running errands. Discovery Villages encourages residents to consult their doctors and pursue this fourth element of exercise, in addition to those previously mentioned, which were stretching, improving balance, and practicing strength training.
Why Exercising is Worth Risks for Seniors
There are some myths which sometimes discourage senior citizens from getting the exercise they very much need. Yes, there are risks associated with exercising at any age. The benefits, however, vastly outweigh the potential hazards. If you are a senior citizen who thinks it’s too late for you because you are already too old, there is great news for you. It is never too late to begin exercising. There are actually more risks in failing to get needed exercise than in making the push to do it. The following are more myth-busters about seniors and exercise:
- Even if you are wheelchair-bound, you can get valuable exercise that improves your heart health and strengthens your muscles. There are even programs of exercise known as wheelchair aerobics that improve heart health as well as improve muscle tone and increase range of motion.
- Worried that you will fall down if you exercise? The fact is that, by exercising, you significantly reduce the risk of falling. Regular exercise improves balance, builds strength, and prevents loss of bone mass.
- There are some people who think elderly people should rest and save their strength, rather than exert themselves in exercise. The opposite is true! A sedentary lifestyle is very unhealthy for people over 50. Continued inactivity leads to an increase in the need for medicine, hospitalizations, and doctor visits.
- Exercising very much has a point for seniors. Regular exercise lowers the risk of suffering the following conditions and more: Dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, colon cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Possible Complications with Endurance Training
As with entering into any type of exercise, it is important for senior citizens to consult with their physicians before adopting a new program of exercise; and this is particularly true of endurance exercises. People of every age should be mindful of their heart rate when engaging in exercises that increase their breathing rate and speed the pulse. The purpose of stopping periodically to check the pulse rate is twofold: To ensure that the heart is beating faster but also to ensure that the heart rate isn’t dangerously increased. Other things to be careful about when engaged in endurance training include:
- Be sure that you wear the correct kind of shoes, when your exercise involves running or walking, whether on a treadmill, in a gym, or on nature trails. The tennis shoes should support your arches and have plenty of cushion, to help reduce the impact of walking. The shoes should also have thick soles, for increased stability and sufficient heel support.
- Build up your pace gradually.
- If you haven’t been exercising, start walking for five or ten minutes daily or at least three times per week. It is usually safe for seniors to build up to a one-hour walk at least three times weekly.
Benefits of Endurance Training
When you succeed at building up your endurance for physical exertion, you are equipped to enjoy your life more fully. There are countless benefits to practicing cardio endurance exercise, including:
- You will feel better due to the production of mood-enhancing endorphins that are released in response to physical exercise.
- Your mood can be elevated enough to reduce feelings of depression and sadness.
- Your ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep longer is enhanced by endurance exercise.
- Brain functions are greatly improved with exercise, which means that you can prevent loss of memory and cognitive decline, in addition to slowing the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Types of Endurance Exercises
There are many endurance exercises to choose from, all of which can perhaps restore to you the ability to enjoy favorite activities, such as bicycling and playing tennis. The less of a chore your endurance exercise program is, the more likely you are to be faithful in raising your heart rate and breathing rate on a regular basis. Among the endurance training exercises for seniors are: swimming, sweeping, dancing, jogging, walking, doing housework, and playing tennis.
Discovery Villages retirement community is happy to share secrets of good health, such as benefits of endurance training. We hope you will visit our retirement communities, where we help equip you to enjoy your best life now.
Discovery Village at Dominion offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 210.840.8000.