With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what to give your loved ones. And what better gift is there than the gift of health and longevity?
For women over 50, a well-rounded exercise program that combines strength training, balance, and posture exercises is one of the keys to aging actively. In order for one to maximize their exercise routine and take their workout to the next level, we’ve put together a list of the 8 best gifts for active aging.
Check it out, and don’t forget to treat yourself to something as well.
Unrolling a yoga mat creates an instant, dedicated workout space that is both motivating and portable. Yoga mats can come in many different styles and colors, with features such as a non-slip surface for standing exercises (like warrior poses) or added cushioning for kneeling or floor exercises.
Gaiam is a popular brand that offers a range of colors, patterns and thicknesses, including the features mentioned above. However, keep in mind that while thicker mats support sensitive joints, they can pose a balance challenge. If balance is a concern, opt for a thinner mat with a non-slip texture.
2. Bala Bangles
Bala bangles are compact and stylish cuff weights that can be worn on the wrists or ankles. They offer a variety of colors and weights, including ½, 1, and 2 lbs. These stylish wearable weights effortlessly add bone-building resistance to any arm or leg movement and can even be worn like a bracelet or anklet throughout the day.
Adding weight, or resistance, to movement helps build muscle and improve bone strength. Resistance training is one of the most important types of exercise a person can do to prevent and treat bone loss. Bala bangles are small and manageable, making them great for a novice. They also serve as an easy add-on to any upper or lower body workout for someone looking to increase the challenge of their regular workout routine.
A good resistance band system is another effective way to add muscle and bone-boosting resistance to your exercises. This particular system comes with five resistance bands of varying resistance to accommodate all levels and allow for progression. Building strength and improving bone mineral density requires progressive overload (Ponzano et al., 2021). This means individuals must continuously challenge their muscles by adding resistance over time. You can achieve this by either using heavier bands, doubling up bands, or changing your grip on the band.
It also includes a door anchor, two handles, and two ankle straps, which allows for a wide variety of exercises and increased comfort when holding the bands, compared to traditional cut elastic bands.
Resistance bands are lightweight, affordable and easy to pack and store, so you can continue to progress your workout over time without the cost and limitations of free weights.
Loop resistance bands are another great tool to add to your home gym. These bands, which can be worn around the ankles and knees, help you target the glute muscles, which play an important role in everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and getting up and down from the floor, in addition to aiding in balance.
CALIA resistance bands come in a three-pack, offering easy, medium, and hard resistance. This accommodates varying levels of strength and allows for progressions over time. These durable fabric bands stay put when placed around the legs or ankles and can last a long time without losing their stretch.
If free weights are more your thing, CALIA also has a dumbbell kit that comes with 3, 5 and 8 lb weights, as well as its own stand. Dumbbells are another form of resistance that can be used for building muscle and bone. These weights are great for upper body and lower body exercises, and can be stored easily in your home gym.
There are many health benefits to stretching, but sometimes it can be hard to achieve a proper stretch on your own. The stretch-out strap is a great tool to increase the effectiveness and comfort of stretching. This strap is made of non-stretch nylon and has multiple loops to help accommodate a variety of positions. The strap even comes with its own guide to help you stretch safely.
Stretching is an integral part of an exercise program for older adults. It can improve flexibility, ease muscle tension, restore joint range of motion, and improve muscle length. This strap is easy to travel with and store and can be used by people of all exercise levels.
A foam roller is most commonly used for self-myofascial release, otherwise known as massage, but it can also play a crucial role in postural exercises.
As we age, the body has a tendency to assume a forward-rounded posture. Those with osteoporosis are especially at risk of developing this type of forward, rounded posture (also known as kyphosis) as bones in the spine lose density. This forward posture can increase the risk of falling by shifting your center of gravity forward (Sinaki et al., 2004).
An extra-long foam roller can help open up the chest muscles and help reverse kyphosis – and all you have to do is lie down. This pose protects the spine by keeping it supported and in a neutral position while gravity gently pulls the arms towards the ground. Making a daily habit of using your foam roller can help open up the chest and shoulders and support you on your way to better posture.
Last but not least, we recommend a gift certificate for a subscription to Wellen.
Wellen provides a personalized and comprehensive exercise program built specifically for women with osteopenia and osteoporosis. As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass and bone, and this can result in a more forward, rounded posture. Wellen is specifically designed to improve strength, balance, and posture. Video demonstrations with spoken and visual instructions make the exercises easy to understand for all levels and ages. The expert-curated workouts made by medical and fitness experts will safely guide you or your loved one through a bone-building workout that feels both challenging and comfortable.
Wellen’s personalized exercise program provides variety and music so that the user can stay engaged throughout the program, and see their progress as they go. It’s a great gift for any woman who is looking for ways to safely build bone and age actively, and there’s no other exercise program like it.
Now that you’ve read through this list of 8 gift ideas, we hope you feel ready to share the gift of active aging – and the tools to help people get there – with the ones you love most.