We read a lot in the news about exercise and nutrition regardless of your age. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy is 78.8 years. .. at an all-time record high. In fact, the life expectancy for females is 81.2 years; for males, it’s 76.4 years. As more and more people wait longer and longer to retire, it’s top to banish all thoughts of sitting back in a rocking chair in your 60s! It’s time to get up and exercise.
According to Dr. Richard Brassard, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), ” The type of exercise and frequency depends on your health. Perhaps the most debilitating influence in people’s health as they age is a sedentary life Exercise of some type is all but mandatory.”
No one says you have to go run a marathon or run down to the gym and sign up for high impact aerobic classes. In fact, any exercise program should be started slowly and you should consult your physician first so you don’t overdo it. If you are inactive, you inevitably set yourself up for broken bones, respiratory and circulatory problems and even gastrointestinal disorders. And no one wants that.
So what type of exercise is particularly good for senior citizens? Let’s ask the experts.
- Walking. Walking is inexpensive and virtually any one can do it. It helps seniors to maintain mobility and makes you less susceptible to aneurysms or ruptures, and muscle loss. Start out slow and see if you can increase to one mile/day at least three times a week. According to American Trails, other benefits of walking include:
- Reduced risk of dying prematurely
- Decreased risk of dying from heart disease
- Decreased risk of developing colon cancer
- Reduced risk of developing high blood pressure
- Help in reducing blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure
- Decreased risk of developing diabetes
- Lower risk of developing hypertension
- Increased muscle strength, flexibility and sense of balance, all of which reduce the risk of falls
- Help in controlling weight
- Swimming. Swimming is an ideal exercise for the aging because it’s low impact and you don’t have to worry about stumbling or falling. The beauty of swimming is it uses all muscle groups and is easy on your joints. Benefits of swimming include:
- Lowered risk of osteoporosis
- Increased flexibility
- Toned muscles
- Promotes heart health, enabling your heart to become stronger, larger, and more efficient at pumping blood throughout your body.
- Promotes mental health
- Increases energy levels
Remember, it is never too late to start exercising! And remember, it’s important to stretch before you exercise.