Exercise and physical activity are a good way to stay healthy, especially for older adults. No matter your health and physical abilities, you can gain a lot by staying active.
Research shows that exercise and physical activity can help:
- Improve your ability to do the everyday things you want to do
- Improve your balance
- Manage and improve diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis
- Maintain and improve your physical strength and fitness
- Reduce feelings of depression and improve overall well-being
Who should exercise?
Almost anyone, at any age, can do some type of physical activity. You can still exercise even if you have a health condition like heart disease or diabetes. In fact, physical activity may help. For most older adults, brisk walking, riding a bike, swimming, weight lifting, and gardening are safe, especially if you build up slowly. But, check with your doctor if you are over 50 and you aren’t used to energetic activity.
For exercise recommendations, you can also visit Seniors’ Fitness provider by Medline Plus.
To make sure you are exercising safely:
- Start slowly, especially if you haven’t been active for a long time. Little by little build up your activities and how hard you work at them.
- Warm up your muscles before you stretch. Simply walking and swinging your arms can help!
- Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
- Unless your doctor has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to drink plenty of fluids when you are doing activities.
- Exercise should not hurt or make you feel really tired. You might feel some soreness, a little discomfort, or a bit weary, but you should not feel pain. In fact, in many ways, being active will probably make you feel better.