It should come as no surprise that exercising is just plain good for our health – no matter what our age. As we get older though, exercise is more important for a variety of reasons that include:
- Staying active will help keep your weight down and that will make you healthier
- Being active will help with balance issues
- Weight bearing exercises might stave off the effects of osteoporosis
As with any kind of health or activity change in your life, it’s always best to check with your doctor to make certain you are healthy enough to begin any kind of an exercise program. If he agrees, you can start out by walking either out of doors or marching in place in your home if the weather isn’t cooperating.
Here are some exercises to consider:
- Marching with a high step. Hold on to a counter for stability, stand up tall then lift your knees high into the air. Repeat 20 times with each leg.
- Using weights – if you don’t have any you can use soup cans and work your way up – stand then lift your arms to the sides slowly, then holding it for a couple of seconds when you’re fully extended.
- Holding onto a counter or chair, do a slow squat, hold a few seconds once you’re at a “seated position” then slowly stand up.
- Take a walk. Yes, walking, even as little as five miles a week will help keep you healthy and happy and will strengthen your bones.
- Turn on the stereo and dance
- Take an aerobics class
- Go swimming
- Jump rope
- Use exercise bands
- Stand up from your chair without using your hands
- Stand on your tip toes
- Stand on one foot, then switch and stand on the other foot (hang onto a wall or chair for balance if necessary)
Again, check with your doctor before you start any exercise program, especially if you have existing health or balance issues. Your doctor may recommend talking with a physical therapist to make sure you’re beginning a routine that will help you, not harm you. Bottom line: moving is the best way to help you stay fit and healthy as you age.
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