Get up on your feet and get active this September for Healthy Aging Month.
We all like to gripe about the downsides of getting older, but the truth is there are steps we can take to feel better, get stronger and prevent health problems that tend to come with age.
And it starts with getting off the couch.
Regular physical activity is one of the best things older adults can do for their health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anything you do will help improve your health and fitness, with benefits increasing as you add more activity.
You're never too old to get active. If you're wondering where you should start, we can help.
How Much Exercise
The CDC's guidelines for adults 65 and older are at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. Spread it out as much as you need to. Just 10 minutes at a time will still benefit your health.
Types of Exercise
Look for exercises that work endurance, strength, flexibility and balance into your routine. Not only will that target different areas that you may need to work on, but it will also provide you with enough variety to prevent you from getting bored or burned out. It will reduce your risk of injury, too. Some to try:
- Endurance: Brisk walking, bicycling, or swimming
- Strength: Weight lifting, resistance bands, pushups, sit ups, even heavy gardening
- Flexibility: Tai chi, yoga, pilates
- Balance: Tai chi, yoga or balance training, such as backward walking, sideways walking, heel walking, toe walking and practicing standing from a sitting position
The American Council on Exercise urges senior exercisers to remember safety no matter what activities they choose. Make sure your shoes are comfortable and fit well, avoid working out outdoors in extreme heat, stay hydrated and be aware of any danger signs, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, weakness or feeling like your heart is beating too fast or skipping beats.
You're never too old to start an exercise routine, but it's a good idea to have a check-up before you get started. Talk to your doctor about any chronic conditions you have that may require adjustments to what you do. If you need to find a doctor, the physician locator for University Hospital and Medical Center is online. You can also call Consult-A-Nurse for referrals at 1-888-256-7728.