There are many reasons to exercise after you are age 50. Exercise can keep you young, help manage existing health problems and prevent future ones. It can also give you more energy, relieve stress, improve your mood, and boost your sense of well-being. However, it can also be harder to exercise as you grow older due to illness, health problems, fear of falling, and just not knowing how to get started.
Here are some healthy facts & tips for you to get started and keep exercising, no matter what your age.
•You can exercise if you are disabled. There are lots of fitness programs that are done in chairs. Seated in a chair you can use hand-held weights and bands which will help you develop strength and range of motion.
•Have a schedule. Pick a time of day and days of the week. Arrange the schedule around your meals, medications, and doctor appointments. You are more likely to continue exercising if you don’t have interference.
•A regular exercise program can assist in a happy retirement by adding structure, purpose, and connection to community.
•Focus on short-term goals. Chose one thing that you want to improve such as having more energy and work towards that goal. Many other benefits will follow and you won’t even have to think about it.
•Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise routine. If you experience any problems such as headache, shortness of breath, dizziness or sharp pain, stop immediately and contact a medical professional.
•Learn about exercise, especially if there is a specific ability you want to acquire.
•Once you have decided on an exercise to start with you will want the appropriate equipment. I suggest starting with a good sturdy pair of walking shoes. You can get what else you need as you advance but good shoes will be beneficial for most activities.
•Believe in yourself. Your body may be aging but you’re still that young girl in your mind. Tap into her determination and commitment, and then don’t let yourself down.
Forming your fitness program- your plan includes these 4 basic elements recognized by fitness authorities.
•Cardio: This is exercise that gets your blood pumping and your heart racing (though not too fast). Suggestions for cardio activities are: walking, riding a bike, hiking, and using cardio gym equipment such as an elliptical trainer.
•Strength: Strength training builds bone and will prevent future loss of bone mass; which is important in your defense against osteoporosis. Muscular strength will make you more confident and better able to handle normal daily events. You can build muscle by using hand-held weights, gym weight machines, and flex bands or tubing.
•Flexibility: Flexibility supports joint health which includes range of motion. Proper stretching will keep your joints lose and your muscles elastic, making movement easier and helping to insure your safety.
•Balance: You will gain balance with cardio, strength, and flexibility exercise. Good balance will keep you steady and comfortable in various positions. You can improve your balance through simple exercises or some of the following specialty activities.
Special activities that are enjoyable and good for older (and younger) adults
•Walking is perhaps the perfect exercise. It is weight bearing which will increase your bone and muscle mass. Some of your body’s largest muscles are in your lower body and strengthening them will increase your stability.
•Yoga increases your flexibility and helps your joints maintain range of motion. It is also strengthening, helps with balance, and is a great stress reliever.
•Work out in the water by water walking or join a group class. Water exercise is non-impact and protects your joints.
•Tai Chi or Qi Gong are both inspired by martial arts, but the movements in most of today’s styles are slow and fluid. These activities increase strength, range of motion, and balance.
Everyone can benefit from exercise no matter what your age. Start small by simply adding more movement to your daily life. Find an exercise you enjoy, something that is not too demanding, and have fun.
Be healthy, be happy!
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