Staying active and maximizing daily exercise is an integral part of leading a healthy lifestyle. It is very important to make a habit of being physically active from a very young age as you will carry this into adulthood and old age. People who maintain a physically active lifestyle are said to lead healthier lives both physically and mentally. They are also said to be more satisfied with their lives as they are usually more productive during their day.
Benefits of Maintaining a Regular Exercise Regimen
There are a plethora of benefits that are available for people who maintain a regular exercise regimen. They include:
- Preventing fat build-up and burning any existing body fat,
- Muscle growth and strengthening,
- Maintaining a healthy heart,
- Safeguarding against type 2 diabetes,
- Controlling blood pressure,
- Increasing energy for the day,
- Relaxing the mind,
- Preventing or decreasing sadness,
- Preventing diseases like stroke,
- Maintaining mental health.
These benefits are only a few of the generic and proven ones. Other benefits can be experienced according to the kind of regimen you maintain. In some cases, exercise can be better than prescribed medication and it can provide you with better results. However, it is essential no matter what problems you may be going through. You may find that after exercising, any pains or aches you were experiencing have gone away or decreased and this is because of the effect exercise has on our being.
Does Exercise Have any Negative Effects on Older Adults?
Exercise is not something that can hurt someone. However, excessive exercise may have a negative impact on the elderly because it can cause exhaustion and may not be suitable for them, especially those who have chronic illnesses and conditions. A moderate amount of exercise is usually recommended for the elderly because it is enough to provide the above-mentioned benefits without any negative side effects.
Another aspect of physical activity that older adults should be on the lookout for is injuries. Injuries can be muscular or even more severe when caused by brittle bones (as this can lead to breaking or even spraining). However, it is recommended that older adults should embrace their exercise regimen in a controlled environment, where they know that the amount of exercise that they need and can complete their routine without having to worry about getting injured. They can do so at local clubs, community centers or even the gym.
Precautions should be taken before and after the elderly have exercised because many end-up falling from exhaustion, imbalance or other age-related factors. Precautions that can be taken include laying a foam mat to help break the fall, providing regular breaks in order to ensure that there is no excessive exhaustion and preparing a regimen tailored to the needs of the individual.
What is Pickleball?
Created in 1965, Pickleball is a fairly popular game that involves a setup similar to tennis in which players are required to move within a square and hit a ball back and forth over a net using paddles. This game is the perfect combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.
This game is perfect for the elderly because it has just the right amount of exercise and one game is enough to fulfil their daily physical activity needs. This game requires a lot of fine and gross motor movements, so anyone wanting to play can expect, having to skillfully make use of their limbs, hands, wrists and even feet.
How is Pickleball Beneficial?
Pickleball is one of the best games for the elderly because it provides with a lot of benefits, including the following:
Pickleball is an entertaining way to strengthen your muscles because it involves a lot of gross motor movements, meaning your limbs will be constantly at work. It is particularly ideal for the elderly as they lose a lot of muscle mass and this helps them maintain an integral part of their bodies.
Promotes a Healthy Heart
Exercising, in general, helps to maintain a healthy heart, but pickleball is particularly good at doing this because it ensures a heavy-duty workout without having to do anything too hefty. Your heart will remain happy when you play pickleball and getting your heartbeat up can help prevent cardiovascular problems.
Exercising releases endorphins in your brain and this has a significant effect on your brain’s pleasure center. This pleasure can help combat stress, depression and anxiety, which are often experienced by many older adults. Removing stress from your life through physical activity is one of the best natural ways to ensure your mental health remains intact.
Exercising has always been associated with burning fat and building a body. However, for elderly people, burning fat may be slightly difficult (unless you have maintained a healthy figure all your life) and you may not be in any position to begin lifting weights or doing intense cardio workouts. Thus, pickleball is an age suitable exercise that can help you maintain your current weight and maybe even lose a few unwanted pounds.
Maintains Brain Functioning
Your brain also requires exercise, especially at an age where you have retired and require something to maintain your cognitive functioning. Pickleball can help you do this as it requires quick thinking and the implementation of a game plan (like most games). This will help keep your brain active and healthy.
Generally, older adults require a source of entertainment, especially if they are living their final years alone (without their families). Pickleball is an outdoor activity that will give you the chance to socialize with other players, be entertained for some time and get in your daily exercise. You can even start a pickleball club with other people who also love the sport.
Thus, there are several different benefits that you can get from playing pickleball. All you need to do is find yourself a pickleball paddle, court and someone to play with and you are set for your daily dose of physical activity.
What Exercises Should be Done Before and After the Game to Prevent Injuries?
Since ageing adults are vulnerable to injuries caused by various age-related factors, you need to come prepared before you play pickleball. Injuries are easily preventable and can be completely avoided if you do a few simple steps. First, you need to ensure that you have all of the appropriate gear that is required to ensure that your game goes smoothly. Your shoes need to be appropriate for the game and if they have laces, they need to be tied and secured with a tight knot. Some people often use supports or stabilizers for their joints or forearms because these provide with the balance you need on the pickleball court.
You need to do proper warm-ups before you begin to play. Warm-ups include stretching, running in place or even jumping jacks. Warming your muscles up can prevent muscular injuries and sprains during the game because warm-up exercises help loosen your muscles and prepare them for the physical activity that is to come.
You should also keep yourself hydrated in order to prevent lightheadedness. Exercise can be draining and it can put a strain on you, but if you drink water during your breaks in the game, you will be able to prevent any falls or imbalance caused by lightheadedness.
Finally, you should have a small first aid kit available with you at all times on the court just in case there is an incident during your game. Your first aid kit should have bandages, tape, any medication you usually need and other emergency bits that can help with minor injuries on the court. Of course, in the case of a bigger injury, an ambulance should be called or you should be rushed to the nearest hospital.
What Else Can Aging Adults do?
Pickleball is not the only sport that ageing adults can play. There are many other possibilities and options that require the same level of activity as pickleball requires.
If you are not fond of the outdoors or do not like too much physical activity, but still want to indulge in a sport, bowling is the best option for you. Many older adults form leagues and teams and play against one another at local bowling alleys. They even register for local and regional tournaments and play for cash prizes.
Community centers often offer senior swimming classes, which are quite popular among the elderly. It is a great way to get your exercise in, especially if you are someone who loves the water. Many places even teach water aerobics.
Walking or jogging is an activity for those who like to have some alone time. The best part about it is that you can walk or jog at your own pace without the burden of following a group of people. It is a relaxing activity and great for those who like the outdoors.
Thus, pickleball is not your only option; you have many others to choose from!