5 Exercises To Reduce Senior Stress

Megan Ray  |  May 7, 2015

As a senior, there may be certain instances that stress you out, from financial woes to moving into a retirement home. These scenarios typically don't make you feel great and could even be harming your health over time. Luckily, exercise is one great way to remedy this anxiety. Consider these tips on how to manage your stress by getting active.

Why is exercise effective at relieving stress?
There are plenty of ways you can lower your stress levels, from seeing a therapist to trying out meditation. Yet exercise is a great, proven way to increase the production of endorphins, a chemical that causes people to feel happy, the Mayo Clinic noted. Exercise can also improve your overall quality of life, by lowering the risk of developing several medical conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It may also remedy issues related to arthritis and blood pressure, so you can live a happier, healthier life. Exercise can also regulate sleep, allowing you to be more productive during the day. According to the Mayo Clinic, people who get a more restful night's sleep are less likely to deal with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. 

Types of exercise to try
As an older adult, you may not be able to exercise as rigorously as you used to. However, don't fret - there are plenty of exercises that will still help you reduce stress, even if you have limited mobility.Try out a few of these with friends in your senior community to see what you like best.

  • Walking: Walking is one of the simplest, easiest ways to burn off a little stress and calories, too. If you haven't exercised in a while, walking may be a good way to get back into the swing of things, Helpguide.org recommended. You can also walk absolutely anywhere, indoor or out. Best of all, going for a stroll doesn't cost a dime. Take a few laps around the community or your neighborhood to break a sweat and clear your mind.
  • Tai chi: This exercise promotes balance and strength training, two concepts that are very beneficial for seniors in particular, especially those with arthritis and other orthopedic conditions, the Arizona Republic stated. Over time, people begin to lose muscle and bone mass, causing them to become fragile and weak. Trying exercises that focus on strength and balance can help reverse this process and keep muscles and bones in tip-top shape. Tai chi is great for older adults as the moves are simple to learn and the activity is slow paced, making it calming.
  • Water aerobics: Exercising in the water is great for anyone with weak or stiff joints, as it makes people more buoyant, Helpguide.org acknowledged. Water aerobics, swimming and other aquatic activities can be fun to do with friends too. Join a class in your community to see if it relieves your stress.
  • Yoga: Yoga is an ideal exercise when you're looking to clear your mind while getting the heart pumping. Like tai chi, it also promotes balance and focus, causing all those other stressors to slip away. It can make you more flexible and strong too, Helpguide.org advised.
  • Chair exercises: Chair exercises are beneficial if you have mobility issues or are in a wheelchair. These activities can help build strength, so that the bones and muscles in the body don't atrophy over time, the Arizona Republic stated.  To strengthen your arm muscles, you can perform bicep curls or arm lifts. Add arm weights as you advance to keep the exercise challenging.

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