Get Moving for Heart Health
Seniors can get big benefits by starting small.
The key to improving heart health for seniors through exercise is relatively simple—just “commit to move more in ’24,” says Jaime Silverman, fitness manager at Meadow Ridge, a continuing care retirement community in Redding, CT.
Heart Health for Seniors
Seniors should always consult their physician about what level of activity is safe for them, however, movement in any form is better than being idle. Walking more, swimming, playing with grandchildren or pets, opting to take the stairs, dancing or even doing chores increases cardiovascular activity. Start by adding a few minutes of movement each day because the more you move, the better. Jaime offers these easy tips to incorporate cardio-friendly activity into your lifestyle:
- If you’re able to, take the stairs, up and/or down, whenever possible, especially if you live or work on the second floor of a building.
- After you’ve added minutes of activity, you can work on increasing intensity by adding speed or weights.
- Change up the scenery or your types of movement. More variety is good for the body and the mind.
Tailoring Exercises for Mobility Challenges
For those who are mobility challenged or unsure of their balance, start with chair-based cardio exercises. For others who are ready for something more challenging, Jaime recommends trying these simple exercises whether in water or on land:
- High knee marches
- Sit to stands or squats with biceps curls
- Side steps with an arm jab/punch
Beyond Cardiovascular Wellness
The benefits from movement and exercise go well beyond cardiovascular wellness and include decreasing blood pressure, anxiety and stress as well as the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. “Exercise also leads to a reduction in falls by improving balance and coordination which, along with being healthier overall, can help you to live independently, longer,” says Silverman.
Embracing Active Indepence
At Meadow Ridge, seniors are encouraged to embrace an active and independent lifestyle that prioritizes their overall well-being. With an abundance of stimulating activities that cater to every dimension of wellness, residents can truly thrive. From tai chi and yoga to Pilates and water aerobics, there are numerous options to promote flexibility, health, and mental well-being. With access to amenities like the indoor heated pool, spa, sundeck and sauna, residents can tailor their activities to suit any season or preference. At Meadow Ridge, the choice of how much or little to do is always in the hands of the individual, empowering them to lead a fulfilling and active lifestyle in their golden years.