Exercise and Older Adults

As most of us already know physical activity and exercise are important to both your physical and mental health. That being said there are tremendous benefits for older people who exercise. Continuous physical activity can also produce long- term benefits and many experts suggest that older adults who remain active also maintain their optimal health. Some of you may be reading this wondering what activities can do to stay healthy and for others this may be the time to start an exercise game plan.

First, you need to know what your limits are. Second, ease into your new exercise routine. Decide how often you want to exercise, whether it be once a day or maybe just certain days of the week. There are 4 main categories of physical activity: Endurance, Strength, Balance and Flexibility. For the most part most exercises fit into more than one category.

These are activities that increase your heart rate and breathing. Increasing your heart rate and breathing help to condition your body and may lower your risk of heart attack while increasing the strength of your lungs. You may try taking a brisk walk or taking the stairs whenever possible. If you are looking to build your physical endurance try taking a dance or aerobics class, some of these classes may be offered at your local senior center. Biking and swimming are 2 other ways to build up your endurance.

By increasing your strength may also ensure that as you age you will still be able to carry your own groceries as you get older. To do this you can try lifting light weights.

If you are concerned about your balance you might want to learn Tai Chi or even practice heel to toe walking.

As with all exercises and especially before physical activity always stretch to increase your flexibility and to prevent injuries.

Remember that even though physical exercise is important it is also important to know your physical limits before beginning an exercise routine.

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