Exercise is important at any age

Exercise at any age is important to our health, but as we age, we develop limitations. Learn to work around them for good health.

Exercise at any age is important to our health, but sometimes as we get older we begin to develop limitations. Our joints may begin to get sore, or our muscles may not recover as quickly. Perhaps we are beginning to develop arthritis or back pain. Even with physical limitations, it is important for our health to continue exercising in some form.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state that older adults should follow the basic guidelines for adults younger than 65. All adults should work toward being physically active at least two hours and 30 minutes a week. Moderate physical activities should increase your heart rate but not to the point one cannot talk while exercising.

If you don’t have a full two hours and 30 minutes to exercise in a week, breaking up your work out is just as effective. A minimum segment of 10 minutes at a time spread out during your day can help you fit in physical activity. In addition to aerobic activity, one should also do muscle-strengthening activity and stretching/flexibility activities.

Some simple ways to add physical activity to your day can be to go shopping and walk the mall. Consider parking at the far end of the parking lot. Walk up stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator. Walk around the block on your lunch hour or at break. Take up bicycling if you have knee or joint pain.

Per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is strong evidence that regular physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, colon and breast cancers. Physical activity can also prevent weight gain, improve your cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, reduce depression and improve cognitive functioning. At any age, these benefits are important to our well-being. No matter what your age you find yourself at, consider adding small steps to your physical activities.

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