Ways for Seniors to Stay Safe and Active during COVID
(BPT) – Seniors are among the most vulnerable demographic groups when it comes to contracting COVID-19. However, SilverSneakers®, the nation’s leading community fitness program designed for older adults, finds that many are not getting the exercise they need to maintain optimal health. According to a recent national poll, 46 percent of adult and senior respondents said the pandemic is preventing them from attending in-person exercise classes, but plan on returning to their gyms when they feel it is safe to do so.
Exercise is critical to helping seniors maintain a healthy immune system that’s able to fight off disease. Regular workouts can also increase balance and strength, and also prevent falls. Johns Hopkins University reports that 25 percent of adults 65 years or older fall, and three million are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries caused by falls. SilverSneakers says maintaining regular exercise during COVID-19 need not be difficult and offers the following helpful tips.
Start slowly. Ease into your new routine gradually. Studies indicate just two weeks of inactivity (or a 75 percent reduction in daily steps) can decrease your muscle strength by 8 percent, while dropping 1,000 to 1,500 steps each day can raise both inflammation and blood pressure. You should jump-start your new regimen with safe exercises like squats, wall push-ups, light weightlifting regimens, and taking walks (keeping distance from others for safety).
Subscribe to a digital exercise program. You do not need to leave your home to exercise each day. That’s especially true if you sign up for a high-quality digital regimen that fits well with your exercise goals and preferences. You may find SilverSneakers’ LIVE classes are your perfect option; the instructor-led online exercise sessions are being offered to all SilverSneakers members. In addition, free Facebook Live classes led by SilverSneakers national trainers are broadcast multiple times a week. The national fitness membership organization designed the virtual series to help seniors stay in shape while still following precautions during the pandemic.
Avoid prolonged sitting. Even if you must set a timer to remind yourself, take frequent breaks from sitting and engage in rejuvenating strolls, or take part in activities that involve standing. The point is to avoid being sedentary for long intervals of time.
Use others as motivation. If you feel more motivated when not exercising all by yourself, you might optimize FaceTime, Zoom, or even a quick phone call to interact with fitness-minded friends and work out together.
Check out local or virtual exercise. Before attending local gyms, learn what they’re doing to keep customers safe and to align with recommended CDC guidelines. If you feel safe enough to participate, exercise in open spaces where you can maintain a six-foot distance from others.
There is no need to give up the exercise that can help you maintain optimal health during the pandemic. Learn more at www.silversneakers.com.