As our bodies age, it may become difficult to keep up with an active lifestyle. But daily physical activity makes a difference for your health.
Talk to your physician before beginning a new exercise routine to determine the best approach for your age, pre-existing health conditions and potential health challenges.
Types of Exercise
There are four main types of physical activity.
Balance exercises improve your stability and help prevent falls and the injuries they cause. Balance exercises include walking heel-to-toe, standing on one foot and wall pushups.
Endurance or aerobic exercises boost your blood flow and improve the condition and functionality of your heart and lungs. Examples of endurance exercises include brisk walking, dancing and swimming.
Flexibility exercises stretch and strengthen your muscles, making it easier for you to move freely. Examples include forward and side lunges, jumping jacks and jumping rope.
Strength exercises include using resistance bands and lifting weights to make your muscles stronger. They help build strength and promote independence by improving your ability to move and function.
How Much Activity is Enough?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults aged 65 and older should try to participate in:
- A minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise such as walking briskly. Or 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity exercise like biking, running or hiking.
- Balance exercises on an average of three times a week.
- Strength exercises at least twice weekly.
Whatever your activity level, some movement is better than no movement at all.
Move More, Sit Less
You have to stay active to get and stay fit. Use these tips from the National Institute on Aging to help you get started.
- Keep it simple and keep it fun. Be creative and look for activities you enjoy that fit easily into your lifestyle while increasing fitness and flexibility.
- Make exercise a social event. Take a walk with co-workers at lunch. Join a dance club or the church softball team. Play team sports at family gatherings. The choices are endless.
- Set aside time for exercise. You're more likely to fit physical activity into your daily schedule if you make it a regular entry on your to-do list.
- Track your progress. Make a plan to get more active and stay motivated by tracking your success. Make new goals as you reach milestones to keep moving forward in your health journey.
Call (866) MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362) to find a Catholic Health physician near you.