Exercising into Old Age

Exercising into Old Age

**It is important to consult with your primary care physician before starting any exercise program.  Make and appointment and talk to your doctor about what would be the best option for you.

Exercising into Old Age

As we get older our bodies begin to experience physical activity differently.  Exercising into old age can be beneficial to seniors in a number of ways.  It is important to remember that everybody can enjoy the benefits of exercising and being physically active.  Here are 5 tips that can help you get started on your physical fitness journey!

Tip 1. Aerobics As Often As You Can

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, it is important to shoot for 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic activity a week.  If you are just starting out, start with short 10 minute sessions and build up to 30 minute sessions.  This can include walking around the mall, raking leaves, and swimming.

**If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, or unplanned weight loss be sure to consult your primary care physician.

Tip 2. Don’t Shy Away from Building Strength

You do not need to get into the gym and punish your body with grueling workouts to build strength.   What you should focus on is slowly and gradually building strength through compound movements.  You can use weights if your community provides you with a workout facility or wellness center.  If you do not have access to weights or the time to get to the gym, you can always improvise with grocery bags filled with groceries or cans of food!

Tip 3. Focus on Balance to Build Core Stability and Prevent Falls

The ODPHP recommends Balance activities to help prevent falls and build stability.  This can be done through a class at a community wellness center or at home.  Try standing on one foot with a chair to support you.  Learn Tai Chi which helps your recognize balance.  Sign up for a yoga class or watch a yoga tutorial online at home.

Tip 4. Exercising with Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

It is possible to exercise even with diabetes and high blood pressure.  The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) has an article on the process of getting into shape with diabetes.  the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) also has an article on physical activity with high blood pressure.  Remember to always consult with your health care team before pursuing any physical activity.

Tip 5. Finding the Right Workout Plan

The right workout plan to fit your lifestyle and abilities can be challenging for those who don’t know where to look.  You should always start by talking with your primary care provider or a well knowledged professional if you have access to a community wellness center.  The CDC provides a few basic workout routines for multiple levels of activity and the National Institute of Aging offers an e-booklet detailing a workout for older adults.

In conclusion, it is important to consult with your primary care physician and healthcare team before you start a fitness routine.  Address your fears and concerns with them so that they may steer you towards the proper workout routine that will meet your needs.  Staying healthy and physically active will benefit your life in numerous ways.  A great way to get started is to find a partner who can do a physical fitness routine with you.  Staying motivated is a huge factor in sticking with a plan and the better support system you have the easier it will be to fit into your lifestyle.

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