The days when older people were content to sit on a rocking porch and watch the world go by are long gone. Today's seniors are keeping their minds and bodies active throughout most of their lives. In this post we'll suggest some of the best options on the market for the fitness-minded seasoned citizen on your gift list. All of these items can help your loved one to enjoy a healthier, happier life for years to come.
Walking or running is one of the best exercises on earth, according to Harvard experts. It strengthens muscles, aids weight loss, and gets couch potatoes into the gym or the great outdoors. So what better present for an older person than a new pair of walking shoes? The right footwear for an avid pedestrian should have features like these:
- Lightweight construction from tough yet flexible materials. Waterproofing is a nice feature, but it's often unnecessary unless the person walks outdoors a lot.Padding around the heel and ankle. This is an especially important factor for older people, many of whom have skin-related issues.
- The right sole. This is a tricky choice for many shoppers. Some walkers swear by soft-soled sneakers. Others prefer rigid or semi-rigid soles that offer added protection against stones and uneven surfaces. A general rule of thumb is to stick with standard athletic shoes if the person does most of her walking indoors or choose hiking-inspired options, often known as "trail shoes," for those whose journeys lead them along dirt paths. Ask a healthcare or fitness professional for guidance if in doubt.
- The right width. Some people's feet get wider as they age, making this an important factor to consider. A shoe that's too narrow can make walking painful or even cause injuries.
If you want to start strength training, but know quite how to start, consider first the enormous benefits it brings for exercisers of all ages. To most people, this statement evokes images of heavy iron barbells, which can injure users, especially those who are new to this type of exercise. A great alternative for many seniors is resistance bands. They're compact, lightweight, effective and a must for your home gym, according to Redfin. You can buy them as individual units or choose a set of bands, each with varying resistance levels.
Many people reviled these products when they first appeared on the market, dismissing them as overpriced gadgets that would go the way of so many fitness fads. Well, the naysayers were wrong.These products are to wrist watches what the original iPhone was to old-fashioned telephones: a total game changer. They enable the user to check her heart rate, record workout data for later reference, and even check the time of day! They offer other benefits as well, which vary depending on the model you choose. We recommend buying a basic unit for your recipient, as seniors (like many younger people) prefer a short learning curve when it comes to electronic items.
Gym/Fitness Class Membership
Fitness clubs and instructor-led activities offer a structured environment with experts on hand to answer questions. You can choose gift certificates for tai chi or yoga classes, gym memberships, or prepaid cards that will allow your loved one to choose her own fitness products at a local or online retailer. Check what's available in your community and consider this option when doing your holiday shopping.
Exercise is one of the best investments any person can make, whether her plans include dancing at the senior prom or doing cardio at the senior center. So give the gift of fitness equipment this holiday season. The benefits for your generosity will last long into the future.
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