We all know that exercise is essential for living a healthy life, and it’s just as true when you’re 74 as when you’re 34.
According to the national Physical Activity Guidelines, it’s recommended that American adults get at least 150 minutes of “moderately-intense” aerobic activity a week. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry, studies have shown that even ten minutes of exercise a week can have an impact, and these exercises are a great way to get started or add another workout to your daily routine.
The more you can move, the better, but you know your body best, and as always, be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new fitness regimen.
If you’re not a fan of a traditional fitness class setting (or maybe you’re nervous to try it), swimming is a great alternative. Not only is it a great way to exercise your heart and muscles at the same time, but it’s also a way to do so without putting any added stress on joints or bones, which is especially beneficial for those with arthritis, osteoporosis or recovering from a broken bone. For those who aren’t strong swimmers or get bored after a round of laps, pool exercises like aqua aerobics or even aqua cycling can provide a quality workout as well.
In addition to 150 minutes of “moderately-intense” aerobic activity a week, the national Physical Activity Guidelines also recommend muscle or strength training exercises at least twice a week. It is known that strength training does well for building and maintaining muscle mass, but it’s also been shown to increase confidence, which correlates to an increase in a person’s tendency to work out. Maybe it’s time to sign up for that CrossFit class you keep hearing about, or just start integrating weights into your workout. Feed your muscles, and maybe your motivation in the process!
First thing’s first - yoga isn’t a one-size-fits-all exercise option. There are different styles and practices catered to different goals and needs, be sure to do some research to determine which is best for you. For example, if you’re just starting your yoga journey, we’d recommend perhaps starting with a Yin class to increase flexibility before diving head first into a hot yoga class. Regardless of which class you choose, yoga offers many benefits including increased strength, flexibility, and balance - all of which are very important for us as we get older.
The healthiest people in the world actually don’t spend their whole day in the gym, moving is just a natural part of their daily routine. In particular - they walk. According to the American Cancer Society, “Walking is the most common type of physical activity in the US, and has been associated in previous studies with a lower risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.” Adding a morning walk to your day, or even a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, is not only great for the body but great for the mind, especially if you’re doing it with a group of friends.
Contrary to popular opinion, fitness doesn’t have an age limit. Yes, things change as we get older, but life keeps moving, and so can we!