Live better as you age!

Live better as you age!

Exercise is an important part of nearly everyone’s everyday health. This is true for older adults, too. Experts say seniors should aim to be as active as possible. If you are an older adult, exercise can help you live a longer, healthier life.

It is safe for most adults older than 65 years of age to exercise. Even patients who have chronic illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis can exercise safely. In fact, many of these conditions are improved with exercise. If you are not sure if exercise is safe for you or if you are currently inactive, ask your doctor.

Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that result in energy expenditure. Physical activity encompasses exercise, sports, and physical activities performed as part of daily living, occupation, leisure, or active transportation. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive and that has as a final or intermediate objective for improvement or maintenance of physical fitness.

Physical activity is a protective factor for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer  and physical activity is associated with improved mental health, delay in the onset of dementia, and improved quality of life and wellbeing.

You Can Stop the Clock

Despite all the anti-aging products pushed on us, it’s inevitable that we will get older. However, some of the things we lose as we age can actually be prevented by doing following exercises.

Aerobic and Endurance Exercises 

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Sports activities
  • climbing stairs/hills

Strength and Resistance Training

  • Lifting weights
  • Using a resistance band
  • Doing body-weight exercises

Stretching and Flexibility Exercises

  • stretching
  • yoga

Balance Retraining

  • Standing on one foot.
  • Walking heel-to-toe.
  • Balance retraining exercises

How often should I exercise?

According to WHO, Seniors aged 65 and older should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) every week. That averages out to about 30 minutes on most days of the week. Or you should get 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise (such as jogging) each week. You should also do strength training at least 2 days a week. You can work on balance and flexibility every day.

Over -exercising can lead to exhaustion and injury that can take longer to heal for older adults. So, seniors should take precautions to not over exercise which can result in negative outcomes.

Tips to do Exercise

  • Clothing – Wear loose, comfortable clothing and well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Your shoes should have good arch support, and an elevated and cushioned heel to absorb shock. Make sure the shoes are made for the type of physical activity you’ll be using them for. Shoes are specially designed for walking, running, tennis, or dancing, for example.
  • Pace yourself -If you are not already active, begin slowly. Start with exercises that you are already comfortable doing. Starting slowly makes it less likely that you will injure yourself. Starting slowly also helps prevent soreness.
  • Wait to exercise -Exercise is only good for you if you are feeling well. Wait to exercise until you feel better if you have a cold, the flu or another illness. If you miss exercise for more than 2 weeks, be sure to start slowly again
  • Stay Hydrated – Replenish your body’s fluids following a workout by drinking plenty of water.
  • Professional Guidance – Exercise classes in group settings that are supervised by trained professionals are ideal for those with specific limitations. Professionals can offer real-time modifications of each move, and they can develop and/or recommend entire regimens for specific improvements despite one’s unique challenges.
Viji Balaji<br>
Viji Balaji

Masters in Physiotherapy
Co founder,Growing Young
Seniors wellness coach