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Wellness Blog

Senior Fitness Trends for 2019

Seniors carrying yoga mats

Only 28% to 34% of adults aged 65 to 74 are physically active, and only 35% to 44% of adults 75 years or older are physically active, according to statistics obtained by the Centers for Disease Control.

The question of how to improve physical activity in older adults has been studied by government entities, senior industries, and other health-focused organizations. However, senior fitness trends in 2019 are shaping up to transform seniors more than ever before.

Senior Fitness Trends

More and more older adults are emphasizing fitness. And while the octogenarian who participates in a marathon may get all the publicity, there’s a revolution in the way seniors exercise today, notes Bridgette Argus, wellness nurse at The Esquiline.

“Fitness trends change, particularly as we age. This occurs mostly because our body changes and we may not be able to do—or have the desire to do—what we did as children. So, consequently, we tend to do what we are able to do. We focus on what will benefit us the most,” she says.

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Related: Want an Easy Way to Stay Healthy as You Age? Walk!

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Why are more older adults exercising?

  • More older adults are aware of the benefits of exercise because of the widespread availability of information.

  • More information about how to exercise is available.

  • More exercise centers are focused on older adults.

  • Online websites and smartphone apps make exercise more fun and results easier to track.

“With exercise known to help boost our immune system, increase joint function, improve mental acuity, prevent disease, maintain weight, and help improve the overall quality of life in older adults, it’s important that older adults get up and stay active,” remarks Bridgette.

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Related: Discover how one Esquiline resident stays active

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What are some fitness trends for seniors?

She sees a trend of older adults focusing on activities that minimize the potentially negative effects of aging.

In fact, some say the trend of functional fitness was first popularized by aging Baby Boomers. Functional fitness replicates the activities you perform on a daily basis, such as lifting and carrying grocery bags from your car to your home. Functional fitness uses multi-joint activity to focus on strength, balance, flexibility, and stability.

Here are some other popular senior exercise trends:

  • Wearable technology is at the top of the list for 2019 exercise trends. Increasingly, older adults are turning to smartwatches and fitness trackers to monitor everything from heart rate to steps taken.

  • Yoga, the most popular form of exercise for older adults, provides both mental and physical benefits. Yoga helps with arthritis, flexibility, and blood pressure, as well as relaxation and stress reduction.

  • Walking clubs mix socialization with exercise. Walking improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, and benefits the heart.

  • Balance classes help prevent falls.

  • Water-based exercises include swimming, pool walking, and water aerobics. Working out in water prevents falls and strain on joints.

  • Tai chi combines slow, graceful movements with meditation. Benefits include better circulation and balance, lower blood pressure, and increased relaxation.

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Related: 3 Surprising Ways Travel Is Good for Your Health

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Try Something New This Year

“Balance class, cognitive stimulation classes, meditation, exercise class….all are very trendy, depending on the needs,” Bridgette says.

However, she doesn’t rule out other exercise tactics for older adults.

“If you have not tried a new class or activity that is trending, why not give it a try?” she says. “You won’t know unless you do it!”

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