When it comes to aging well and maintaining our mobility for independent retirement living, it turns out that exercise really is the key. In a 2014 study featuring a group of 1,600 seniors aged 70-89 who were suffering from mobility issues, it was found that the group who participated in regular physical activities dramatically improved their mobility compared with a group that focused solely on health education.
Improve Core Strength
Isolating and exercising our arms and legs isn’t nearly as effective as cultivating core strength. Our “core” includes the abs, the back, hips, quadriceps, and glutes. These muscles greatly contribute to our overall strength and balance. If you are already dreading all those sit-ups, don’t despair. Whole-body exercises such as yoga and Pilates are much more effective for building core strength than sit-ups. Join a fitness class or find a fitness video created to help seniors build core strength.
You will hear it from your doctor, and you will hear it from study after study: humans were built for walking, and it’s brisk, sustained walking that turns out to be the easiest and best exercise for seniors who want to maintain or improve mobility and enjoy independent retirement living. Make walking fun by getting a fitness tracker like a Fitbit. Or, if you have a smart phone, download and play a fitness game like The Walk to unlock pieces of an interactive story as you log your steps.
The truth is that those who lose their mobility can suffer from higher instances of disease and death. So if you want to remain active and independent longer, make fitness a part of your everyday routine. It’s never too late to start on the path to a fitter life.