Staying active as we age can be a challenge for some.
This is especially true if simple acts of exercise are challenging due to an injury, or the aches and pains that occur as we progress in age. Even if being active is a bit more difficult, it is still extremely important. Movement, even when low-impact, keeps our blood flowing and can even increase brain function.
The current Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for seniors is the same for younger people:150-300 minutes per week. This does not suggest you should overdo your exercise routine by trying to keep up with people much younger than you. Depending on your age, physician recommendations, and physical limitations you can be healthy with low impact exercise. Staying active as we age can be fun and exciting as well as a healthy stress reliever.
Here are some recommended exercises that are healthy for any age. These exercises can help you stick to your New Year’s goal of staying active, strong, and feeling rejuvenated.
Stretching is a very important component of exercise because flexibility will help decrease your chances of injury in your daily life. Stretching your muscles and staying limber can also aide with aches and pains that come with daily movement. If you have struggled with an injury, stretching is especially important as muscles tend to tighten to protect an injured or often used portion of the body, which can slow down recovery. Daily stretching exercises or even a low impact yoga class can help decrease the length of discomfort felt from a previous injury. Bonus… it feels GREAT!
Muscle loss is a common occurrence as we age and usually begins at the young age of 40. However, keeping your muscles powerful does not mean achieving bodybuilder status. One of your goals as you get older should be combating muscle loss, which is helped by simply keeping your muscles active on a consistent basis. This requires simple light weightlifting (3-5lb weights are sufficient) or body strengthening exercises 2-3 times a week. The more we use our muscles the stronger they will remain.
Moving, staying active, and keeping your heart rate up can be accomplished with a bit of cardio exercise. Cardio does not need to be high intensity to accomplish the health benefits. Brisk 30 min walks 2-3 times a week is a healthy way to increase blood flow. If physical complications or an injury keep you from your stroll, the pool is a great alternative. Swimming or low impact water aerobics is a fantastic way to increase your heart rate with less impact on your joints.
Whatever your age, staying healthy includes mind, body, and spirit. Make sure you are being mindful of all the aspects of a healthy lifestyle. By taking a bit of time to yourself each week and increasing your endorphins, you will see a change in your overall well-being. Staying active as we age can increase the chances of bettering your mind and spirit too.