Regular exercise can help individuals of all age groups, providing seemingly endless benefits. Examples of these benefits include improvements in conditions such as osteoarthritis, blood pressure, diabetes, lipid profile, memory and osteoporosis
With regular exercise, individuals can also expect an increased life span, as early mortality and age-related morbidity rates decrease when individuals choose to engage in active lifestyles. While exercise and fitness can stimulate benefits, it is estimated that nearly 75 percent of elderly Americans do not engage in sufficient amounts of activity in order to receive the intended benefits.
In order to engage in a beneficial fitness program, elderly individuals should strive to maintain a specific routine that includes three specific components:
• Aerobic exercise
• Strength training
• Balance and flexibility
Aerobic exercise includes activities such as walking at a brisk pace, jogging, swimming, biking and elliptical exercises.
To engage in these activities, seniors can utilize machines and classes at a local gym or wellness center. Also, for individuals who may suffer from specific areas of joint and / or muscle pain, many facilities offer water aerobics classes. These classes teach minimal-impact movements to provide each individual with specific health benefits and decreased risks of pain and injury. To experience benefits, people should strive to engage in aerobic activities approximately three to five days a week.
To improve posture, bone strength, and stamina, strength training should be implemented into everyone’s exercise regimen. Strength training can be achieved by lifting weights and/or working with resistance bands and machines. Strive for weights that allow you to feel challenged, but that also allow for a full range of motion, as this will help build muscle and strength safely and effectively.
Balance and Flexibility
The focus on balance and flexibility will help individuals to gain core strength with reduced pain and injury. Individuals can engage in these activities both before and after a workout, as research shows that stretching helps boost flexibility as it simultaneously helps prevent specific exercise-related injuries. For guided help in this area of focus, individuals can also participate in a Yoga or Pilates class. Yoga focuses on teaching movements that incorporate fluid balance and core strength. Similar to Yoga, Pilates also focuses on balance, core strength, and flexibility; however, Pilates also utilizes additional tools and items for added physical support and challenge. These classes tend to be widely available at most local fitness facilities, and are also available at many community school areas, such as community colleges.
Make fitness a life choice, no matter what age you are.