21 Fun Ways for Older Adults to Keep Active

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The formula for happiness is simple: stay connected to people, make healthy choices, have fun, and laugh a lot.

Today’s older adults feel more youthful (both physically and mentally) than in previous generations.  And they are redefining active living!  Indeed, many independent and assisted living residents at All Seniors Care view their current stage of life as an opportunity to develop friendships and learn something new.

Check out these fun activities to keep you fit and engaged, no matter your age. Enjoy!

1. Try a group exercise class

Group exercises like yoga, tai chi, or Zumba are fun and social ways to improve flexibility and balance, which are key to preventing falls in older adults. All retirement communities offer chair exercise classes, some offer water aerobics programs. Explore your monthly Health & Wellness Calendar!

2. Take a walk to keep fit

One of the best exercises – and it’s free! Whether you walk around your home or garden, getting outside for any amount of time is wonderful for the body and mind. Incorporate walking into your daily routine by joining a walking club, walking a dog, or taking a stroll to a local shop.

3. Join a bocce tournament

Senior women in blue sweaters playing bocce ball

Bocce is one of the oldest games in the world.  A great activity for seniors, it is easily adapted to almost any level of ability. A game that combines social activity with light exercise, bocce ball checks all the wellness boxes.

4. Bowling for fitness

Senior throwing a giant inflatable bowling ball at pinsA close cousin of bocce, bowling is a popular pastime for people of all ages. This non-contact sport works muscle groups throughout the body!  Hint: you don’t even have to use a real bowling ball and pins!

5. Visit a garden conservatory

Outdoor gardens celebrate the changing seasons, while indoor conservatories showcase plants from around the world. They provide an opportunity for older adults to get moving, enjoy the pleasures of greenery, and many have resident birds to enhance the sensory experience. Why not take a tropical staycation today?

6. Pedal Your Way to Health

cyclistYou never forget how to ride a bike.  Even if you haven’t cycled since middle school, it’s not too late to ride again. From one to three wheels, there is a bike style for everyone. Another great option are pedal exercisers like the ones ASC residents used for Going the Distance.  Click on the link to find out more!

7. Laughter yoga

At our recent Endlessly Curious event, we tried laughter yoga and loved it so much that it has become a staple activity at many of our senior residences in Canada. It combines laughter exercises with yoga breathing techniques, which increases oxygen transport, making seniors feel more energetic and healthier.

8. Host a Dance Party

Put on your favorite music and have a dance party. Dance is a gentle way to exercise because it engages the mind and body in a way that does not feel like exercise. The varied movements get your joints limber while working your muscles.

9. Play ladder ball

Some call it the sport of the future. We just call it fun!  Easy to play, competitive, and affordable for seniors on a budget, ladder ball, also called ladder golf, involves tossing bolas (two balls connected by a string) onto a ladder. An added bonus: there is little need to bend forward or squat!

10. Take a woodworking class

A staple at ASC residences across Canada, woodwork programs like We Can Build It engage the mind and body … and provide an opportunity for seniors to mingle with likeminded peers.

11. Let the disk fly with shuffleboard

Shuffleboard can be played on an outdoor court or inside and is accessible to seniors of all fitness levels. The object of the game is to push your weighted pucks into the scoring area on the opposite side. Shuffleboard improves reflexes and reaction time, without the physical exertion of a high-impact sport.

12. Beer pong anyone?

If you want to laugh the night – or afternoon – away, there’s no better game than beer pong.  Also known as Beirut, this popular drinking game from your youth can be played with water or your favourite healthy juice. Why not give it a try? The game promotes hand-eye coordination, provides physical movement and activity, stimulates cognitive functioning through concentration, and fosters social inclusion.

13. Get crazy about crokinole

Did you know that this surprisingly fun game is Canadian in origin? A dexterity game, players use their fingers, or small cues, to flick wooden discs toward a hole in the center of the crokinole board. This finger-flickin’ good board game will keep you entertained and on the edge of your seat.

14. Try a life-sized game

Countless games can be modified for seniors or elderly people who have physical or cognitive limitations. Have trouble manipulating smaller game pieces? No problem – get up and get moving with a life-sized game!

15. Take up drumming

Drumming is more than just music — it’s an engaging activity that is proven to reduce stress, alleviate pain, and help keep you mentally active. It’s also a great cardio work-out! But don’t take our word for it, watch the video above from Fox Hollow Retirement Residence in London, ON.

16. Go for a swim or take up aqua aerobics

swimming poolA relaxing and joyful pastime, swimming has also been called the perfect exercise.  Impact free and buoyant friendly, being submerged in water can benefit people across a broad range of ages and abilities: from the very young to the very old, those with injuries or degenerative conditions, beginner to fitness buffs.

17. Visit museums to keep learning

Taking a tour of a museum or art gallery is a good way to exercise your body and your mind!  Lifelong learning has so many benefits!

18. Visit a farm

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a farm or petting zoo!  Take a stroll, enjoy the weather, and have fun. As a bonus, animal interactions are beneficial for seniors: in addition to providing sensory pleasure, they can also reignite memories.

19. Sink the eight ball

Pool table

Popular in retirement homes and assisted living communities, this sport engages your brain in problem-solving, which can prevent cognitive decline. Playing billiards also builds arm, back, and leg strength, improves flexibility, and balance.

20. Gardening

Cultivate a garden in spring and summer – it’s fun, purposeful, and even provides numerous health benefits.

21. Join a debate club to keep your mind sharp

Man debate

Some people just love a good debate.  Even for the most accommodating senior, though, stretching the mind through debate can be a part of healthy aging! It provides a sense of purpose and achievement, brings people together, and allows for social connections and friendships to form.

Activities Are Our Specialty

Moving into a retirement community can expand your social life and motivate you to get more active. The Health and Wellness teams at All Seniors Care residences will keep you active and entertained all year with their dedication and creativity.

If you want to learn more about life at one of our senior retirement communitiesget in touch with us today and ask about residences near you. With regular group exercise activities, plus the motivation of our ASC Seniors games, you’ll be on your feet more than ever before.

 

Writer  – Julianna McLeod

Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers seniors to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.

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