of the problems that people associate with "aging" are actually not due
to aging at all. Instead, they are due to a lack of activity. In
particular, deaths from heart disease could probably be reduced if all
people participated in mild, regular exercise. Many people feel that it
is dangerous to exercise after a certain age. Actually, it is usually
much more dangerous not to. If you have a medical condition, ask your
doctor or health care provider about any limitations on exercise. Older
adults who exercise tend to:
- look younger,
- feel better,
- have more energy,
- sleep better,
- have fewer medical visits, and
- stay more active in all areas of their lives.
of the most important aspects of exercise is to pick an activity that
you like or at least feel okay about. Remember that physical activity
such as walking, dancing, or gardening for 30 minutes a day, can have
big benefits. If you haven't been exercising at all for years, start
slowly. Begin with even a minute or two of exercise and build up by a
minute each time.
To condition your heart, think about an aerobic
activity. These are called the "I-N-G" exercises. Most activities that
end in "ing" are aerobic. Walking, swimming, biking, and dancing are
all aerobic. To stay strong, think about weight training. Systems that
involve resistance, such as Nautilus, pose less risk of injury for
older adults than free weights. To stay flexible, think about
stretching activities like yoga or tai chi.
Make sure that you get the right equipment for the right sport. Good, supportive shoes are especially important.
health clubs, many other centers often have exercise programs for
seniors. These include senior citizens' centers, YMCA, YWCA, community
centers for various religious groups, recreation centers, and community
colleges. Regular exercise can vastly improve the quality of life for