Most of us like to think we’ll be energetic, smart, vibrant and gorgeous until the end of our lives. This isn’t an unattainable fantasy. It’s never too late to make small changes that will profoundly influence our ability to live long and healthy lives.
Whether the goal is disease prevention, weight control, maintaining good posture, balancing hormones, or retaining a sharp mind, experts agree that workouts and exercise are crucial for maximizing health and well-being.
For many seniors, workouts can be daunting, especially for people who have mobility issues, bad joints or other health problems. Realizing you can no longer do what you could when you were 30, and the fear of possibly injuring yourself, are among the things that keep many older adults from starting a fitness program. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an exhausting, brutal workout though—any level of exercise is beneficial for people across all age groups.
Walking is an enjoyable form of outdoor exercise and a favorite choice for older adults. Just 30 minutes a day can lower blood pressure and manage weight. Walking is simple, yet effective cardiovascular exercise.
Another great low-impact, non-jarring exercise is swimming. Swimming works the entire body, conditioning muscle and joints.
New, fun programs for older adults are low-impact dance classes, specifically designed for seniors. These workouts focus on cardio and toning and enable older adults to rediscover the energy of their youth.
Whenever beginning a new fitness program, seniors need to make sure to do it safely. It’s important to wear comfortable shoes that fit well. Staying hydrated with plenty of fluids is crucial. Be aware of any danger signs when exercising and call 911 if you experience chest pain, become short of breath, develop pain in your legs, or feel like your heart is beating too fast.
Remember to find a regimen that you enjoy. You’ll be more likely to stick with it and reap all the benefits physical activity has to offer.