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Senior exercise and fitness tips

May 11, 2018

No matter your age, it’s never too late to get started

A recent Swedish study found that physical activity was the Number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life—even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years. But getting active is not just about adding years to your life, it’s about adding life to your years. You’ll not only look better when you exercise, you’ll feel sharper, more energetic and experience a greater sense of well-being.

How much physical activity do older adults need?

Physical activity is essential to healthy aging. As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger, so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.

It’s never too late to start exercising!

Exercise can ward off chronic disease and help you maintain your independence and mobility. But the older we get in the United States, the less active we are, according to a study published Sept. 16, 2016, in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Why you need aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise is good for your heart. The most recent guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise five days a week or 20 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise three days a week to maintain good health and reduce your risk of chronic disease. For aerobic workouts, 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate is generally the zone you should reach and sustain to get the most benefits.

It’s never too late to get massive anti-aging benefits from exercise

Many people think that the effects of aging are inevitable. Belly fat, muscle loss, saggy skin, and weaker bones are accepted as an unfortunate part of getting older. Disease and physical pain are considered par for the course. In fact, the proper training program can prevent the physical and mental deterioration of aging, keeping your heart in top shape, your muscles defined, your body lean and your brain sharp.

The importance of stretching

Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong and healthy. We need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains and muscle damage.

To learn more about the NCH Wellness Center, visit or call 847-618-3500.