Healthy aging consists of three main lifestyle components: eating well, exercising and reducing stress. This week, I’d like to focus on exercise.
• Regular exercise can help prevent hip fractures by keeping the bones and muscles strong.i
• A lack of exercise can increase your risk of having a heart attack. ii
• Additionally, the “single most important way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes is to give careful attention to a balanced diet and regular exercise program.” iii
How to Exercise: How often? What Types? How to Check Heart Rate?
• Most adults who wish to stay healthy need 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity per day, including resistance training at least three times a week.
• Watch an informative slide show to learn more about the basics of exercise. Learn the difference between aerobic and non-aerobic activity here, using the interactive slide show with a free quiz to test your exercise knowledge.
• You can learn more about cardiovascular exercise and what your heart rate should be here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001941.htm.
• Here is a free booklet that helps adults maintain an exercise program.
Physical Fitness for Seniors
• Seniors need a few hours of exercise every week but exercise can be broken down into 10-minute intervals if needed and may include many activities: gardening, walking, housework and swimming. Most important though: Exercise that strengthens the muscle groups should be done twice a week.
• Learn more about physical fitness for older adults.
• Here is another great resource to find more information about exercise for seniors.
• Here are some tips to help you stay active and overcome the common barriers to exercising.
• Here are some balance exercises for older adults.
• Visit the National Institutes of Health (senior health section). It’s a great resource for information on exercise for seniors. Watch videos, find safety tips and view exercises to keep you fit. Take a quiz to see how much you’ve learned.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, you will need to start out slowly and consult your physician, especially if you are at high risk or have an injury.