The health benefits of staying active as you age are crucial. From lowering your risk of depression and enhancing your social wellbeing to improving strength and stamina – there are a lot of good reasons to keep moving and stay well connected with friends.
For that reason, industry experts suggest just 30 minutes of light aerobic exercise, five times a week to reduce blood pressure, lower stress, and decrease your risks of cardiovascular problems, colon cancer, and diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all older adults—both men and women—can benefit from regular, moderate physical activity. This is true even for people with medical conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.
A recent Swedish study found that physical activity was the number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life—even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years.
Staying active in retirement benefits your physical and mental health and helps you discover some of your hidden talents. Staying active can help discover new hobbies and interests such as gardening, joining a fitness group, singing, painting, dancing etc.
Now you are ready for action. The first steps are always the hardest but not impossible. As you begin with your exercise program, keep these tips in mind.
- Begin your exercise program slowly. If you feel pain, shortness of breath, take a break. Don’t push yourself too hard.
- Use free weights or resistance bands for strength training.
- Drink water during and after the exercise session
- Do activities that strengthen muscles at least two days a week.
- Practice activities to improve balance, such as standing on one foot, about three days a week.
Get a good night’s sleep. Elderly people tend to have more trouble getting quality rest. To better help you with sleeping try doing more activities throughout your daily routine and see if it helps. It’s been proven that adding regular aerobic exercise during the day can promote deeper sleep. A pre-bedtime workout, or a short 5 – 10 minutes walk after dinner is best.