Grandchildren are blessings…but looking after them can reveal our need to hit the gym. If our patients feel exhausted before the kids arrive and sore after they leave, a simple and safe exercise plan will provide a much-needed energy boost.
We recommend incorporating the following exercises into an active lifestyle. After all, staying balanced decreases injury risks, keeping us focused on the people who matter most.
Yoga’s a perennial favorite for fitness enthusiasts of all ages. Active adults enjoy its go-at-your-own-pace style and emphasis on gentle stretching. Yoga is also accessible, with classes typically available at local gyms and community centers–sometimes instructors even offer senior-specific sessions. Another benefit: It’s a full-body workout.
We know maintaining six-pack abs might not be realistic, but strong cores are essential for balance. Leg lifts, side bends, and hip raises (otherwise known as “the bridge pose”) are easy ways to strengthen abdominal muscles. If getting on and off the floor is difficult, chair exercises—like seated knee lifts—are great options.
While running and walking are heart-healthy workouts, they’re not necessarily easy on the joints. Instead, we love swimming since it’s a virtually no-impact sport and, like yoga, is a full-body workout that increases lung capacity and muscle mass. If lap swimming isn’t appealing, many fitness centers offer water aerobics and even water yoga workouts.
Remember that any new exercise routine should first be approved by a qualified physician. And though it’s exciting to start out fast and get back to playing with your grandkids, take it slow to prevent injuries. Most importantly, choose an activity that’s enjoyable–it’ll be more likely to become a lifelong habit.