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Marjorie P. Lee Senior Living Blog

Regular Exercise is the Key to Living Well as a Senior

Aug 26, 2013 4:48:00 PM

 

You don’t need to look for a cure to aging. Getting older isn’t a disease.

What does need a cure, however, is the unhealthy lifestyle that many older Americans follow.

So instead of opting for expensive (and potentially harmful) antiaging treatments, try a senior wellness program. If you want a healthier, more active senior life, there’s no substitute for diet and exercise to keep you living well.

In our last blog, we talked about how making a commitment to eating well could reduce your risk for chronic disease and improve the quality of senior living.

Today, we’ll look at how regular exercise can benefit seniors.

 

Just check out the stories from older Americans who are enjoying happier and healthier lives through regular exercise. Get inspired, and start your own exercise program in 5 simple steps.

happy senior couple exercising

1. Try to exercise at least 2 and a half hours every week.

Getting as little as an hour of exercise every week can bring a marked improvement to senior living, but the longer and more intense your activity, the more benefits you’ll see. Just keep these exercise guidelines from the Harvard School of Public Heath in mind as you plan your fitness routine:

  1. If you don’t currently exercise and aren’t very active during the day, any increase in exercise or physical activity is good for you. Just make sure that you aren’t trying to do too much too soon. Start out slow, and then gradually build up the length and intensity of your workouts over time.
  2. You don’t have to squeeze your whole activity for the week, or even for the day, into a single session. In fact, it’s better if you space out your exercise throughout the week, and, if you don’t have much time for a longer workout during the day, a few 10-minute session throughout the day can have a cumulative effect.

2. Work your way up to moderate aerobic activities.

Any activity that makes your heart beat faster like power walking, dancing, or even chores like raking leaves helps keep you independent and living well.

Just make sure you start out slowly. You start seeing the most drastic improvements to the your health and the quality of your senior living once you work your way up to 30 minutes of activity a day on most days of the week.

3. Aim for a mixture of strength and balance exercises.

Try switching up what kind of activities you do so that you can improve both your strength and your balance.

4. Be exercise savvy.

Don’t let your limitations stop you from exercising. Very few health problems make exercise a physical impossibility. Even older adults with disabilities, severe weight problems, or other health and age-related conditions can safely exercise if they start slow and work their way up to a moderate level of physical activity.

Before you start any kind of senior wellness program, talk with your healthcare provider to see how much activity is safe for your level of fitness and physical ability. Older adults who are starting out from a sedentary lifestyle or have chronic illnesses or other medical conditions should be especially cautious.

5. Reap the benefits of regular exercise.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, regular exercise can:

  • Lower your risk for chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer and reduce your chances of suffering a stroke or heart attack.
  • Help you stay more active and independent by improving your strength and balance.
  • Improve your mental wellness by fighting depression.
  • Enhance your brain fitness.
Bryan Reynolds

Written by: Bryan Reynolds

Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

Topics: living well, activities for seniors, exercise and activity, senior living, health tips for seniors

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