Hitting the gym to perform a couple of bench presses and run at full speed on the treadmill might seem like just another activity on your daily schedule while you are in your twenties, but once you hit the age of 60, things can get tough. Muscle mass gradually decline as your body ages, your bones become weaker and, let’s face it, you do not have the same body you had a few decades ago. Age is not all that may interfere with your ability to hit the gym – a busy schedule, for example, can also compromise your ability to get enough exercise, even at a younger age.
This all does not mean you should give up on keeping your body in good shape. According to the NHS, those over the age of 60 should still continue to participate in both strength training and aerobic exercises each day to keep their bodies healthy and fit. The only problem is when bending over becomes painful, and running is out of the question, what is left to do. And when you dread the gym, what are your alternatives…
Walking, running, weight lifting – these are the general activities that are often advised to people when they wish to start exercises to get their bodies into shape, improve their heart health, and reduce their risk of serious health conditions. Unfortunately, older individuals may experience certain limitations that make these particular activities harder. For a younger generation, these activities may seem overrated – people are often looking for more creative ways to keep their bodies looking good.
Gardening seems like a very basic and simple activity, which is why it is often overlooked as a great form of exercise for the elderly. The activity can offer a number of potential health benefits for a person and does not require as much effort compared to activities like lifting weights and running for a couple of miles.
Older individuals with existing conditions that cause them to suffer physical limitations, such as arthritis leading to joint pain, can easily implement a daily gardening session into their schedule. This type of activity has many advantages. It has been found that gardening acts as a relaxation technique – this helps to reduce stress in the body, which is definitely beneficial for various systems in the elderly body, including heart health.
Additionally, gardening has also been found actually to provide some level of physical exercise to a person. The good thing here is that an elderly person is able to get some level of aerobic exercise and strength training with this one activity. This way, they can keep their heart healthy, reduce their risk of gaining excess weight, and even keep their muscle mass up – all at the same time.
While noted beneficial for the elderly, we should mention here that younger people can also join in – the health benefits, including relaxation, reduced stress, and physical activity – really accounts for anyone who gets into gardening.
Exercising is just as important for the elderly as it is for the younger generation, but due to physical limitations often experienced, the elderly are often unsure of what exercises they would be capable of. Gardening poses as both a relaxing activity that can help to keep stress levels low and the mind calm, while also acting as a way for the elderly to remain active, keep their heart pumping strong, and even maintain their muscle mass.