Monday, September 11, 2017

8 Fall Fitness Activities for Seniors

Fall into a fresh, new fitness habit this Autumn with inspired exercise ideas that might surprise you. Whether it’s the cooler temperatures or simply the energetic excitement of a holiday season around the corner, fall is the perfect time for seniors to find motivation to stay active and fit. Don’t miss these 8 fall-inspired fitness activities for seniors:

Take in the sights and smells of fall with a mountain hike through the beautiful changing colors of the season. Hiking in nature is a great way for seniors to stay active, burn calories, and strengthen muscles and bones. Not only that, but hiking makes for great balance and coordination practice as well, which is essential in preventing falls in seniors. Just remember that the autumn season brings shorter days and cooler weather, so wearing layers and making sure you have appropriate lighting with you is a must when hiking.

Outdoor Yoga
Take your newest favorite fitness hobby outside into the crisp, cool air of fall and practice amongst the beautiful golds, oranges, yellows, and reds Autumn’s foliage has to offer. Yoga practice has been shown to help build bone density, relieve low back pain, reduce high blood pressure, and boost feelings of positivity. Combine the mindfulness of yoga with the outdoor setting in nature and take exercise to the next level this fall.

Pumpkin Carving
Rock some fine motor skills by getting in on the pumpkin carving fun with the grandkids this year! Just like crafting, knitting, or folding origami, pumpkin carving which requires the use of small tools, creativity, and grip strength can help older adults support good brain health and exercise weaker arm and hand muscles.

Swap out your summer swimming routine for some bicycle action this fall! While cycling might seem high risk, it is actually a superior low-impact activity for seniors. Cycling helps increase heart rate, boost circulation, tone and strengthen muscles, as well as hone coordination and balance skills, all while taking it easy on older joints. The cooler weather and beautiful scenery of fall is simply the cherry on top!

Rake Leaves
Approach your favorite fall chore instead as what experts call “functional fitness.” Did you know you can burn over 100 calories in one half hour of raking leaves? Combine that with bagging and carrying them to the curb and you have a real low-impact exercise on your hands! Don’t have a yard? Offer to rake leaves for a neighbor or friend, or join a community/neighborhood cleanup service project happening in your area.

Fall Proof Your Home
Take a note from the season of “fall” and find time this season to fall-proof your own home by removing clutter and installing helpful tools for getting around your house safely. Update your bathroom with helpful nonslip grip tape, grab bars, and a shower stool or chair. Check that all lighting is bright and consistent from room to room, and remove trip hazards like cords and turned up corners of rugs from common walking pathways.

Go Apple Picking
Apple season has arrived, and what better way to spend time with family and give your body a little exercise than with an apple picking adventure. Not only does the movement of walking the orchard and picking apples help you loosen joints and build up bone strength, but apples themselves make great additions to a healthy diet. Packed with fiber and Vitamin C, apples are also great sources of antioxidants which can help protect you against cancer and other diseases.

Lots of fall volunteer opportunities offer an added bonus of physical fitness, and are a great way for seniors to spend their free time. Volunteering at a holiday festival, joining a trail or river cleanup, participating in an animal adoption event, even walking in a Thanksgiving 5K - the ideas are endless! The last handful of months of the year are also full of awareness events for important causes like ending childhood hunger, fighting prostate and breast cancer, and celebrating family caregivers.

This is a guest blog entry.

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