We are living longer and staying healthier than we ever have in history. It is now not uncommon to see 80 and even 90-year-olds jogging, swimming, dancing, and living vibrant and active lives. It is never too late to begin engaging in regular exercise, however, there are some things that older adults need to know about physical exercise and activity that might differ from when they were younger adults.
The Importance Of Movement
As we age we lose muscle mass and bone density. Our flexibility may be diminished and our sense of balance can change. We are not as quick and agile and we are prone to more injuries with longer healing times.
The American Heart Association reveals that it is never too late to begin regular exercise and they recommend 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week. Just a few of the benefits of regular exercise include:
- Helps Prevent Bone Loss
- Increases Muscle Strength
- Improves Balance And Coordination
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Improves Memory And Brain Health
Research has proven that physical activity prolongs life. We can’t stop aging but we can, with a good diet and exercise, slow the process down. We are not only living longer through regular exercise but looking and feeling better, too.
How To Start Getting Active
No matter our age, we must always exercise wisely. Even small injuries can last a lifetime, flaring up when we least expect them years after the initial injury. For older adults, we must think of safety and prevention at all times while exercising. There are a few things we can do to ensure that we stay healthy as we enjoy the benefits of exercise. Here are a few tips to get started with any exercise or activity program:
- Get a Medical Check-Up Before Beginning Any Excercise Program
- Find Out What Excercise Plan Is Right For Your Age And Needs
- Start Slow, Moderation Is Key
- Dress According To Activity And Drink The Proper Fluids
- Vary Your Exercises
- Don’t Make Unrealistic Goals For Yourself
- Eat A Healthy Diet
- Listen To Your Body
- Think Of The Big Picture
Keep track of your progress and reward yourself for the personal goals you meet or milestones reached. Even if your exercise is walking every day, you can build up your distance and achieve your goals while creating a lifetime habit of movement.
Tufts University provides a free online strength training course for older adults. They also provide the download for their free strength training book. With extensive research in aging, which provides new insight and preventative strategies for fighting disease, there has never been a better time to look forward to our later years as right now.