A Google search will tell us the biggest fears seniors face are the loss of independence, the loss of memory, falling, and diseases such as dementia, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. At the same time, science is telling us that many of these concerns are often linked to lifestyle choices. We recently highlighted the benefits of choosing better quality sleep in fighting these villains. In this article, we want to highlight the importance of choosing to improve our exercise routines.
As “seasoned citizens,” getting physical activity is one of the most important things we can do to protect our mind and body to make the aging process easier. Once over 65, it is recommended that people get some form of strength training twice a week to help maintain body mass. This could be weights in a gym or even as simple as doing chair exercises. Do what your body will tolerate and focus on slow, steady progress. Working with a trainer can be a big help in exercising safely. In addition to “pumping iron,” doctors agree we all need to work on our cardiovascular system. Thirty or more minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise most days is the goal.
Finally, regular work on flexibility and balance is important to avoid falls and protect those hips. Foam rollers, yoga, and stretching may be an avenue for this. Being well rested and physically fit can help improve almost every aspect of life in our later years. Picking up grandchildren, getting off the floor, traveling, sports, and just about everything else is better when we are in good shape.
Important – Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your health routine.