Exercise is just as important for older people as it is for younger adults. Physical activity decreases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, decreases cholesterol levels along with improving flexibility, strength and boosting immunity levels.
Diminished strength and stamina that accompany age is in part due to the lack of activity. However, be sure to acquire the approval of a health care provider before embarking on any exercise program.
Individuals not accustomed to exercise must start slowly in order to prevent injury. Design
the fitness program to accommodate abilities and lifestyle. While some engage in cycling and tennis, others may only be capable of stretching and leisurely walking. Any of these types of activity are perfectly acceptable.
Do not be discouraged by limitations, becoming more physically active is the important goal to remember. In time, after muscles strengthen, incorporate activity that is more strenuous into a fitness routine.
Prior to beginning any type of physical activity, take five minutes of time to warm-up and stretch major muscle groups in order to minimize the possibility of injury. Older adults require 30 to 40 minutes of moderate physical activity up to three times a week.
If this amount seems too excessive, start slower with 15 to 20 minutes of activity. Exercise at this activity level includes housework, gardening and yard work, leisurely walking, dancing or swimming.
Incorporate an exercise program by following instructors on a fitness DVD or VHS tape. Many people obtain DVDs and tapes from the local library at no cost. Some may enjoy yoga or the slow, rhythmic, meditative movements associated with tai chi. You can also find a wide variety online at places like Amazon.
As the body strengthens, increase the amount of activity for each session, or engage in slightly more strenuous exercise. Adults must also incorporate some form of strength training at least two times a week. Fitness equipment for this level of activity does not have to be expensive or elaborate. Use hand and ankle weights or inexpensive resistance bands.
Devise hand weights from socks filled with beans and tied at the ends, plastic bottles filled with potting soil or sand, or use canned goods. Only use the amount of weight that allows for 8 to 15 repetitions of an exercise.
Avoid locking joints and breathe properly while performing each repetition.
By gradually increasing physical activity, individuals reduce the chance of falling, as balance improves. Increased overall strength and flexibility enhances everyday living and allows persons to enjoy more pleasures in life.