Regular exercise can help slow down some of the physical changes that come with age. Exercise reduces the risk of falls, depression, stress and helps maintain the ability to live life independently.
By adding resistance training, strength, flexibility and balancing exercises to your daily routine – you can live a healthier, happier and more active lifestyle.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Start slowly to avoid injury. If you are sedentary and not very physically active, start with short sessions of moderate physical activity for approximately 5-10 minutes. Begin with one or two sessions a week and slowly increase the frequency and duration of physical activity as you begin to feel stronger.
Aerobic Resistance (Cardio) Almost anyone can safely perform moderate to vigorous exercises that are appropriate for their age and physical condition. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity a week. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as brisk walking, bicycling or swimming) at least five days a week.
Strength As we age, we lose muscle mass. Engaging in activities that strengthen your muscles will help you avoid falls and make it easier for you to perform your daily activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults include 2 or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities to their exercise regimen. Building stronger muscles can help you protect your joints, strengthen your bones and improve your mobility.
Flexibility To increase the flexibility of your joints, be sure to include flexing and stretching exercises to your daily routine. By increasing your level of physical activity and performing stretching exercises you can lessen the wear and tear on your joints, experience greater mobility and improve your posture.
Balance Simply by becoming more physically active you will improve your stability and reduce your risk of falling. By adding some basic balancing exercises to your regimen, you will begin to feel more stable on your feet. If you have severe problems with balance, this could be due to a medical condition.In this case, talk to your doctor, who can assess the situation and review any undiagnosed medical problems.
It is never too late to start exercising! A doctor, certified fitness trainer or other healthcare professional can help you develop an exercise program that will be both safe and effective. Visit the Leon Healthy Living Centers to participate in exercise classes and programs designed to help you maintain your good health. The sooner you start, the sooner you will start to feel healthier, more active and less stressed.