Exercise is the key to healthy aging. Many older adults have heard of the benefits of exercise but may be unsure of where to start. There are many benefits of exercising as you age, and one of the best side effects is keeping you young. The more you move, the better you'll feel. You don't have to do anything too vigorous, nor is it recommended when just getting started with an exercise program. Starting slow is the way to go.
There are a few steps you should take before beginning an exercise program. First, you should get medical clearance from your health care provider especially if you have a pre-existing condition. They will tell you if there are any exercises you should avoid.You will want to start an exercise program slowly. You should not go "all out," but instead ease into a program a little bit at a time. Make sure to take the time to learn proper form and technique for all exercises to avoid injuring yourself.Learn to recognize problems. If something doesn't feel right, you should stop. Exercise should never hurt or make you feel bad.If you experience pain, feel dizzy or short of breath, experience chest pain or pressure, or break out in a cold sweat, you should stop exercising right away and contact your physician.
When developing a program you should remember to keep it varied. It will break up boredom and help to improve your overall health and wellness. Try to include the following four variables into your weekly routine.
Cardio exercise increases the body's ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and helps remove toxins over a sustained period of time. In seniors, it can help lessen fatigue, promote independence, and improve endurance. Examples of cardio exercise can include walking, cycling, swimming, hiking, tennis, dancing, etc.
Balance exercises help to maintain or improve standing and stability under a variety of conditions. It can help to reduce the risk of falling. Try standing on one foot while balancing and hold it for two seconds before returning to your start position and repeating on the other side. Hold onto a stable object if you need a little assistance.
Strength training helps to build muscle strength by using body weight, hand weights, machines, or bands. It helps to prevent the loss of bone mass, and helps to improve balance. Incorporating strength training into your weekly exercise routine can help make day to day activities like opening a jar or getting in and out of a car and lifting objects easier.
Flexibility exercises challenge the joint's ability to move freely through a full range of motion. It helps you to stay limber and improve your range of motion for ordinary physical activities such as tying your shoes, washing your hair, or playing with your grandchildren.
I have seen first hand in my clients the benefits of exercising and healthy aging. With a proper exercise program you will improve your quality of life, feel stronger, and more confident. Contact me for more information about my Senior Fitness Class.
Corinna Maggy is the owner of Corinna Maggy Fitness Consulting, and Women On Weights, a health and fitness program developed specifically for women. She can be reached at 605-3549 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.