Our Blog

Should Seniors Exercise?

Group of seniors resting in a gymSponsored by: Jan Cline Fitness

Yes, but remember to check with your doctor if you are over 50 and aren’t physically active already. It’s best to start out slowly with just a few minutes of activity, then build up to longer sessions and more difficult activities or movements over a few weeks or months. Build up to about 30 minutes of exercise activity 6 days a week. This level of activity should make you sweat some, which is normal if you’re exerting enough effort. Find something you like to do:

  • Bike riding
  • Walking/hiking/running
  • Weightlifting
  • Dance
  • Work around the house/rake leaves/ wash the car

Exercise has many benefits, from losing weight to building muscle, feeling and looking better, moving and resting more easily, and living a more able lifestyle. These benefits are grouped into four major types: Endurance, Strength, Balance, and Flexibility. Endurance exercises are those that benefit your staying power – cardio, cycling, skating, and activities like this. Build up to 30 minutes of activity each day. As a general rule, if you can talk normally while performing the activity, it should be more challenging; but, if you can’t talk or can barely catch yJan Cline Fitness logoour breath, you are working too hard – lighten up! Strength exercises include lifting weights, stretch bands, and gym machines that use weight stacks to increase difficulty. This would also include some calisthenics, like pushups, squats, bicep curls, and pull ups. Balance work is vital to maintaining your health. Much like they say about riding a bicycle, working on your balance comes back easily with practice. However, an inner ear problem may interfere with improvement in this area. Start easy with just lifting one foot and holding onto a table or other solid item. Most people progress quickly to more challenging balance exercises. Flexibility activities will make most every movement easier: standing, sitting, walking, bending, getting in and out of your car/bed/space capsule, turning around, looking up, and so much more! You do not need to buy special clothing or join a gym to get more exercise. You only need to get moving today. Something is better than nothing; and more is better, too. Here are some additional resources to help you get started:

  • National Institute on Aging, www.nia.nih.gov
  • Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine, www.medlineplus.gov
  • National Council on Aging, www.ncoa.org
  • You can also contact a local recreation center, retiree program, gym or personal trainer for more ideas and motivation.

Don’t wait any longer – start moving more today!

Tags: ,

Your Favorites

      No Favorites