We have long known that seniors benefit by maintaining an active lifestyle. However, baby boomers today are moving away from more traditional forms of exercise and finding new ways to stay active. Today, they are searching for things that are unique and fun. This helps exercise feel less like a “chore” and more like something they look forward to every week.
Many different activity programs for seniors are increasing in popularity. New ideas seem to pop up almost daily, and the ones seniors are most enthusiastic about stick around. If you are searching for a new way to keep your aging parents or grandparents active, knowing what is out there helps. Let’s take a look at some of the latest programs.
Easy to learn yet physically challenging, cardio drumming incorporates dynamic movements with the inviting sounds of music and drums. Seniors who participate use drumsticks to create sounds by drumming on yoga balls or using the yoga balls for other movements. Therefore, the magic of this program is that it is easily done sitting or standing. Therefore, seniors in wheelchairs or those with mobility and balance challenges are not excluded. Cardio drumming helps to improve balance, bring energy into the room, increase focus, promote muscle strength and conditioning and improve mental health.
Long viewed as only an activity babies participate in, crawling is hitting the fitness circuit and causing some excitement among seniors. The activity quite literally involves crawling either on hands and knees, toes and hands or in a crab position. There are also other modifications available depending on the program. Crawling offers the unique advantage of building functional strength. This means that it helps seniors to improve their ability to perform activities of daily living independently. It also promotes balance, strength and coordination. The exercise works both small and large muscle groups, requires no equipment and is easy to perform without the risk of falling that standing exercises sometimes pose.
Frisbee or disc golf has players “teeing” off by throwing a Frisbee into a basket. The activity is very self-paced, meaning seniors move through the course at their own pace, quickly or slowly. This family sport appeals to individuals of all ages and is not difficult to learn. As a result, it the perfect activity for seniors who want to get outdoors with their grandchildren. It is accessible because many courses are easily navigated even with assistance from a professional caregiver, a walker or a wheelchair. The activity is also social, slightly competitive and a great way to spend more time outside. There is little expense involved when taking up Frisbee golf, so it is easily enjoyed by seniors living on a fixed income.
Yoga is an ancient art form. However, today, new forms of it are popping up across the globe. First, there is goat yoga (literally performed in the company of goats). Next, anti-gravity yoga (performed using a hammock for support) offers new challenges. Finally, water yoga (performed in a pool) provides relief for muscles and joints. Yoga builds balance, coordination and flexibility. It is easily modified for every fitness level. Yoga for seniors is often low-impact. It puts little or no strain on ligaments and joints. Finding these out of the box variations of yoga is sometimes challenging. However, it helps to begin by asking at your local yoga studio. If they do not offer the class, ask if they are willing to start it or know of someone who has.
If you are working to stay active and want to step out of your comfort zone, then try sometime new! From drumming to Frisbee golf and yoga, there are options for everyone. Salus Homecare San Gabriel Valley encourages all our clients to try these unique exercises. They might even help you stretch and laugh a little more with family and friends in the process of getting fit. Let us know what you think after trying a few, and if you have other unique exercise ideas for seniors, please share them.