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You're Never Too Old to Exercise

Updated on August 13, 2013

While it goes without saying that exercising has a direct correlation to ameliorated health, these physical activities seem daunting as our bodies become more delicate. The 2004 report by Center for Disease and Control Prevention stated that about half of Americans over the age of 60 remain inactive. Fear of falling or heart attack fuels our “too old” excuse, but in all honesty, lacking in exercise is far more hazardous to your health. U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, Physical Activity and Health, stated that those that don’t participate in physical activity are twice more susceptible to heart disease than those that do exercise. The benefits of exercise outweigh our pre-conceived notions as being "dangerous." In fact, according to the seniorjournal.com, wounds can be healed up to 25 percent faster with daily exercise.

For those with disabilities or don’t know where to begin in, there are many different types of exercises that can be adjusted to your physical conditions. A variety of physical activities ranging from chair exercises or gentle stretches can ease you into stronger and healthier living. However, as a senior, it is essential to consult with a doctor before putting any physical stress on your body. A physical exam and discussion with your doctor about medications can greatly affect your exercise plan.

Benefits of Exercise

Always keep in mind that you are never too old to start! Studies have shown that even small exercises can prolong life and preserve your independence. Here is a list of the few benefits.

  • As we age, our metabolism slows and we find it more difficult to get rid of that belly gut even with a clean diet. Through proper exercise, the metabolism can increase and help you maintain or lose weight. Once achieving the proper weight, your overall health will improve.
  • Another important reminder is that regular physical activity can lower the risk of developing a medical condition. As we already discussed, exercise can improve heart health but also chronic conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • As our bodies age, sleep becomes increasingly important in maintaining health. Exercising can improve the quality and length of sleep, contributing to your overall wellness.
  • Physical activity such as a sport or hobby can be mentally stimulating. Keeping the brain active can delay normal effects that come along with age such as loss of memory and dementia.
  • Lastly, exercising boosts confidence by getting your body in shape. Exercise is a good outlet. It serves as a way to release any negative energy that could bring anxiety or depression.

Finding that Motivation

For most, exercising can seem tedious and undesirable. However, there are many ways to both spice up your physical routines and benefit your body.

  • Performing a day-to-day physical exercise routine can be mundane to some. Finding a physical hobby like a sport is a perfect way to funnel your energy into one activity.
  • Switching up exercises provides something new and fresh in the midst of dull day-to-day routines.
  • Having a companion to exercise with you and share similar goals can be exciting and turn boring exercise into something to look forward to.
  • Adjust daily routines to satisfy physical needs. For instance, go for a walk rather than a drive or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

4 Components of Exercise

Endurance
Flexibility
Balance
Strength
Running
Yoga
Tai Chi
Planks
Swimming
Stretching
Yoga
Weight-lifting
 
 
 
 

4 Components When Exercising:

When creating your exercise plan, it is important that you include exercises that provide specific benefits to make daily living easier and increase your independency.

Strength: Weight-lifting is a great way to build muscles. Through the strengthening of muscles and joints, back pain and arthritis can be reduced. Additionally, by having stronger muscles, the risk of fall or injury lessens.

Endurance: Workouts such as running, walking, swimming can help in improving your cardiovascular system. For those starting out, it is a gradual process. Start off with a nice walk and increase challenge when you feel physically ready.

Balance: Balance and coordination are important components when reducing risk for fall or injury. Special exercises such as tai chi or yoga can decrease probability of experiencing falls or accidents.

Flexibility: In order to protect both joints muscles, include exercises that enhance your flexibility. Simple actions such as turning your head to check for traffic or bending to tie shoes are priliveges of your independency that require flexibility.

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