How Older Adults Can Stay Fit

No matter your age or current physical condition, it’s never too late to start taking exercise and get fit. Taking fitness seriously as you get older can help you to stay healthy and flexible for much longer, and help you to maintain your independence as you get older. 

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Building A Balanced Exercise Plan

Staying active doesn’t have to be complex. Just remember to speak with your doctor before you start a new exercise plan, and avoid any exercises that won’t be safe for you. Mixing different types of physical activity will help to keep you interested in your workouts and improve your overall health and fitness. The key is to find activities that you enjoy, that are based on the four building blocks of fitness.

Balance

Balance exercises will help you to maintain stability as you age, both while you’re standing still and moving around. For balance exercises, try something like yoga, tai chi, and posture exercises to improve your balance and feel confident standing. 

Exercises like this improve your balance, posture, and walking quality. If your balance is improved, you’re also less likely to fear falling or to have a fall. 

Cardio

Cardiovascular exercises use your large muscle groups in different ranges of motion. When you exercise, it gets your heart pumping and leaves you feeling a little bit short of breath. Possible cardio workouts for seniors include walking, swimming, stair climbing, hiking, cycling, rowing, tennis, and dancing. 

Doing cardio exercise will lessen fatigue and shortness of breath. It will also give you more endurance for daily activities like walking, errands, or cleaning your home, allowing you to stay more independent as you reach your senior years.

Strength And Power Training

Strength training builds up muscle with repetitive motions using weights or external resistance from machines, weights, elastic bands, or your body weight. You can also try power training, which is strength training at speed, for even more results.

Strength training is ideal for older people, as it works to prevent loss of bone mass, builds muscle, and improves balance. This is important for being able to stay active and avoid falls. Power training can make you faster while crossing the road, for example, or lessen the risk of falls by helping you to react more quickly if you start to lose your balance or stumble. Building up your strength will allow you to stay independent and make daily tasks like opening jars, getting in and out of the car, and lifting objects much less difficult. 

Flexibility

Flexibility workouts will challenge your joints to move through a full range of motion. This can be done with stationary stretches or stretches that involve some movement to keep your muscles and joints supple and free of injury. Yoga is an effective way to improve flexibility.

Flexibility will help your body to stay limber and will increase your range of movement for physical activities you need to manage in daily life, such as washing your hair, or bending to tie your shoes.

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