Some time ago, we published an article on the four kinds of exercise we should all be practicing in order to stay healthy and fit (Especially as we mature into our golden years).
You may think that because we’re mostly confined to indoors during lockdown that you will have to compromise on your exercise routine. Never fear! We have compiled a list of activities that you can try in the comfort of your own home to help you stay healthy and fit during the lockdown.
How to get your cardio at home
Dance! Turn on the radio, find your favourite record, or peruse YouTube or Spotify to search for your favourites, or simply search for “dance music” and then get your boogy on for half an hour. Not only will you get your cardio in for the day, but dancing and listening to happy music are known for their therapeutic abilities. What better way to lighten the mood during lockdown?
Try a free online exercise class. YouTube is jam-packed with free resources for those who want to get moving. We like Senior Fitness with Meredith and this 20 minutes low-impact cardio workout from HASFIT but there are so many more to choose from.
Download an App. If you don’t have uncapped internet and you need to save on data, consider downloading a fitness app to your phone. It will use less data than streaming via YouTube. We like Senior Fitness.
Play with your pets. If you have a dog or a playful cat at home, you will be amazed by how much exercise you can get by throwing a ball for them or dragging a piece of string for the cat. Your pet will be happy, too!
How to get your Strength Training at home
Lift! Just because you don’t have access to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t do a bit of lifting.
If you usually use weights in your regular training, consider substituting with regular household items. For example, if you fill two 2L Coke bottles with water, you have two 2KG (roughly) weights. If you use a 500ml bottle (easy to hold) you’ll have 500-gram weights (If you have glass bottles they will be a little heavier). You can also use heavy books or a bag of flour.
Listen to Jane. Not sure what to do with those weights once you have them? Let’s see what Jane Fonda has to say on her YouTube channel!
Body Weight Resistance Training. If you don’t fancy heavy things – don’t worry. Your own body actually supplies you with all the resistance you need. Watch this No Equipment home workout video for seniors.
STRETCHING & BALANCE
For those who are accustomed to stretching regularly, you probably already know a few moves that you can carry on with at home.
(For the new fitness fundis, try some balance exercises behind a chair, such as standing and lifting one knee at a time toward the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times before moving to the other side.)
If you need a little inspiration from around the web, take a look at these free resources:
Eldergym Fitness: 10 minute full-body stretch for seniors : See YouTube video here
Seated Exercises for Older Adults: Just because you’re sitting, doesn’t mean you can’t get some exercise! Watch this gentle 8 minute routine for those who require a seated program.
Morning Stretches for Seniors: This is a 12 minute morning stretch and gentle exercise routine.
7 Minute Yoga Routine: For the slightly more adventurous among you, why not try this 7-minute yoga routine?
Download an app: If you don’t have an uncapped internet connection and you need to save on data, consider downloading a fitness app to your phone. It will use less data than streaming via YouTube. For balance and mobility, we like the 7-minute yoga app.
ALL-IN-ONE SENIOR FITNESS
If you’re new to the exercise idea and you’d like a gentle introduction that gives you everything all in one – take a look at the “Strong for Life” program developed by Standford Hospital especially for older adults.
Additional Online Fitness for Seniors Resources: