Exercise for Seniors
A healthy retirement includes exercise. Moderate physical activity helps control blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar and diabetic risk. It also reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. A fitness program helps strengthen muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones, which help against osteoporosis and low back pain, and keeps your body limber, which stabilizes joints and helps manage arthritis. Physical activity improves digestion, and it helps you relax, sleep better, feel less anxious, and manage stress. It gives you more endurance to work and play.
Take 20-minutes a day to exercise. Warm up first and stretch before for flexibility and after you exercise for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Fitness for seniors includes aerobics, muscle conditioning, body stretching, and postural awareness. Examples of non-impact exercises are walking, swimming, cycling, and aerobic dance. Keep the pace comfortable with the ‘talk test’, which allows you to carry on a conversation while exercising. Strength conditioning should target the major muscle groups (arms, chest, back, stomach, legs).
Include a well-balanced diet, stop smoking and see your doctor or health practitioner as needed.
Before you start an exercise program, check with your doctor especially if you’re over 40 or have health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of heart disease or stroke.