A Zumba Fitness class is not just fun, a party-like atmosphere, a social event, a pain reliever, a natural anti-depressant or anti-anxiety remedy, it’s also an amazing way for people of all ages to age gracefully.
Increasingly, research shows that older adults who engage in a consistent exercise program reduce their risk of developing age-related dementia.
How Much Exercise is Needed to Reduce the Risk of Dementia?
Older adults who exercised at least three times a week were much less likely to develop dementia than those who were less active, according to a study reported and funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
Reduced Risk of Dementia: a New Reason to Exercise
“Physical activity has been shown to be beneficial for health and aging in a number of areas,” said Dallas Anderson, Ph.D., program director for population studies in the Dementias of Aging Branch of NIA’s Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Program.
“This emerging association between exercise and cognitive health is increasingly important to understand.”
Exercise for Seniors
By Paige Waehner, About.com Guide
Updated September 16, 2009
You Can Stop the Clock
Despite all the anti-aging products pushed on us, it’s inevitable that we will get older. However, some of the things we lose as we age can actually be prevented, including:
- Strength: Sarcopenia is the fancy term scientists have given to describe loss of muscle, strength and quality of tissue often seen in older adults. Some experts have suggested that muscle mass declines about 1% each year from age 30.
- Endurance: As we age, we could lose aerobic fitness and experts believe this often contributes to reduced mobility in daily life.
- Flexibility: Joints change with age and this can lead to stiffness, decreased range of motion and more injuries
- Balance: Each year, hospitals see thousands of older patients for broken hips due to falling. Balance exercises can help you avoid injuries from falls and keep you independent and mobile.
The good news is that the loss of strength, endurance, flexibility and balance aren’t inevitable. The National Institute on Aging believes that, “when older people lose their ability to do things on their own, it doesn’t happen just because they have aged. More likely it is because they have become inactive.”
It’s Never Too Late
No matter how old you are, (ZUMBA GOLD FITNESS) exercise can improve your quality of life and you don’t have to spend a lot of time doing it to see and feel improvements. Like everyone else, seniors need to engage in cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises to stay healthy and maintain as much strength and functionality as possible.
Strength Training for Seniors
Strength training has incredible benefits for everyone, but especially for seniors. Experts believe that “resistance exercise may forestall declines in strength and muscle mass for decades.”
Before you get started, it’s essential to get checked out by your doctor. If you have any conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure or heart disease, you’ll need to learn the types of exercises you can and can’t do.
Cardio Exercise for Seniors
Because endurance can decline over the years, it’s important to engage in some type of aerobic exercise. The National Institute on Aging recommends seniors shoot for 30 minutes of cardio exercise each day. To get started:
- See your doctor first and get clearance for cardio exercise
- Choose an activity you enjoy and something that’s accessible such as walking, swimming, biking, gardening, golfing (without the cart), tennis, rowing, etc. (Zumba Gold Fitness Classes)
- If you’ve never exercised or it’s been a while, start with 5-10 minutes of cardio 3 times a week and allow your body time to get used to it. Each week, add a few minutes until you can move continuously for 30 or more minutes
- Work at a medium intensity – you should be able to carry on a conversation
- Always warm up with 5 or more minutes of light activity.
- Stretch after your workout
If you prefer home workouts, you might enjoy these workouts: (DVDs for Zumba Fitness, Yoga, Pilates, Chair Dancing,
You can also check out your local gym or health club to find out what kinds of classes they offer for seniors. It’s much more fun and motivating to workout with friends… (If there is no Zumba class, ask them to include one)
Flexibility & Balance for Seniors
ZUMBA GOLD FITNESS CLASSES IMPROVE BALANCE AND FLEXIBILITY
It’s important to stay flexible as you get older, so plan on stretching after your workouts or incorporate yoga into your routine. Be sure your muscles are warm when you stretch, either from working out or after getting out of a hot bath or shower.
Remember that any activity is better than none, so start with something easy and enjoyable. You’ll find that, over time, exercise can help you improve your quality of life and help you age gracefully.”
ZUMBA GOLD FITNESS CLASSES ARE EASY AND ENJOYABLE AND FUN, FUN, FUN
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