Exercise for Senior Citizens

This image was originally posted to Flickr by Diana bella at http://flickr.com/photos/8669665

This image was originally posted to Flickr by Diana bella at http://flickr.com/photos/8669665

You’ve probably heard the phrase that it’s never too late to get in shape. With Baby Boomers, you can probably add to that in saying that it’s never too late to stay in shape, too. Exercise for seniors is very important. Not only are the benefits ongoing, but exercise has the unique ability to actually halt many aging traits. The body’s muscle mass decreases naturally with age, which is a problem because muscle mass is vital in burning the highest number of calories, keeping you strong physically, and maintaining balance. Bone density and flexibility is also decreased by aging. Flexibility allows for the most amount of joint motion and can help people with arthritis to improve their function. The biggest reason to exercise is that it improves the cognitive function that age can impair.

In the age of advanced technology, many people have never made it a priority to exercise. There were always things such as watching television and being on the computer to keep them seated rather than moving. If you fall into that group of seniors, you can still get up off of your backside and start reaping the benefits of regular exercise. Studies performed on people ranging in age from 72 to 98 years old proved conclusively that even a beginning program can start working immediately to improve bone strength, build muscle mass, and help walking speed.

If you want to get started exercising, begin with a walking routine. Walking provides a myriad of benefits and needs the least amount of effort to do. You can walk anywhere and anytime either outside or indoors. All you need is a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Another great exercise for seniors is swimming. You can do this whether you know how to swim or not. Just paddle around in the pool. You can also get a bike to ride. Stationary bikes are affordable and offer great benefits. Tai Chi and Yoga are great for seniors because they only require slow and coordinated movements.

Getting in your exercise is important enough to be a priority in your life. You may feel that you don’t have the time to exercise, but the truth is that you don’t have the time to not exercise. It doesn’t have to take up a very big part of your day. Research shows that you can get amazing benefits from only 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily. Try to get on a routine of walking 30 minutes daily at least 5 days a week. Throw in some strength training a couple of times a week as well as balance and flexibility training twice weekly.

Once you get started on your exercise regimen, you’ll be astounded at how much better you’ll feel. In addition to all of the benefits discussed here, you’ll also find that you’ve got a lot more energy than you had when you were just sitting in that rocker on the front porch watching the traffic go by. Exercise is great and will help you in unimaginable ways, but always remember to check with your doctor before starting any activity that you’re not used to doing.

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