With the weather finally improving in most parts of the country, there’s never been a better time to get outside and get moving. As we age, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for a healthy body and mind. Even moderate exercise can have a profound impact on your health and allows you to continue to do your day to day activities independently.
Here are a few exercises that you can start today to improve your health.
Taking a walk is one of the easiest and best ways to remain healthy and active. Walking improves your heart health, lowers blood sugar, reduces pain and promotes social engagement. Adding at least 30 minutes of walking to your daily routine can have a profound effect on your overall well-being.
Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety while providing tremendous health benefits. Regular yoga practice (2-3 times/week) improves mobility, heart health, balance, blood flow and sleep patterns. Classes are also a great way to meet new people.
The health benefits of swimming are numerous, especially for the elderly. The obvious benefit is it’s gentle on the body with very low impact on joints. Swimming also provides improved heart health, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, increases flexibility and improves muscle strength and tone. Plus, it’s fun!
4. Strength Training
It is recommended by the Center for Disease Control that people over the age of 65 practice strength training at least twice a week. Using small weights (1 or 2 lbs.), the CDC recommends doing 10-15 repetitions of a variety of exercises like chest press, bicep curls and triceps extensions.
The key to any exercise routine is to start. It can be easy to find excuses and put it off, but make the commitment to better health and start today. It also helps to have an “exercise partner” who can help motivate you even when you don’t feel up to being active. Start today. You’ll be thankful you did!