Updated: Mar 19, 2022
As we age, our bodies change and slow down, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remain active. Exercising in our senior years is just as important to our bodies as it was in our youth.
Start slow, let your doctor know you’d like to begin exercising again, and listen to any guidelines she gives you. Begin with low-impact exercises.
There are many to choose from; walking, biking, and aquatic exercise are the most common, but others include Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga, stretching, and chair aerobics. Move quickly enough and often enough that your breathing rate increases, allowing you to still talk but not carry on a lengthy conversation.
Weight-bearing exercises similar to walking help strengthen your bones, as well as your heart, lungs, muscles, and even your mind. Aquatic exercise reduces your weight-bearing load, allowing you to move more freely with less pain than you may have in land-based activities.
An aquatic environment will also help increase circulation in your body, reducing your #inflammation while providing resistance to your muscles moving through the water. Don’t forget to add some weight training to your program. Increasing muscle mass in older adults has shown to decrease weakness, retain or even build bone strength, decrease the risk of #osteoporosis and other chronic diseases.
There are many places you can exercise, whether it is a local fitness center, community center, or even walking in your neighborhood. You’re never too old to get started.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tasha Mills, M.A. is the fitness director at our Oak Park Branch of the YMCA.