No matter how old you are, you can always enjoy the benefits of exercise and physical activity. Getting physically active and adhering to an exercise routine can help you in many ways, such as:
- Developing and maintaining strength so that you can gain independence
- Become more energetic
- Boost your balance
- Prevent or delay the onset of diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease
- Improve your mood and ward off depression
Enrolling in a gym is one of your options, but you can always consider exercise and physical activity as your lifestyle. You can stay active through your daily routine and on-goings. Some activities you can do to boost your health are dancing, riding a bike or taking brisk walks. Climbing up and down the stairs can be good exercise. So is doing the household chores or gardening. Swimming is an effective physical activity. Don’t neglect little chores as raking the leaves as well. The key to exercise and physical activity is to keep moving, and you can always find new ways of doing it.
There are 4 ways to get active and exercise:
- Endurance activity– these are activities that develop your energy and staying power. Build this routine for 30 minutes a day. Your exercise should enable you to breathe hard on most or all 7 days of the week. You don’t have to do this activity for 30 minutes straight, but you can finish your routine at 3 10-minute periods
- Strength exercises– these exercises aim to build your muscles. Building your muscles gives you more freedom to control your movements. You’ll be able to carry your grandchildren or get up from a chair on your own. Walking through the park won’t be such a difficult activity at all.
- Activities that help your balance- you can do this exercise first by standing on one foot, and then your other foot. Try doing this without holding on to anything for support. For example, you can stand from sitting down on a chair without using your arms or hands for support. As much as you can, try walking heel to toe. When you walk, move the heel of one of your foot just above the toes of your other foot. The heel of your first foot and the toe of your other foot should touch or almost touch each other.
- Flexibility stretching- if you are able to move freely, it’ll be easier to bend down to tie your shoes or look back over your shoulder when backing your car out of the driveway. Do some stretching when you’ve warmed up your muscles. But be careful not to over-stretch to the point that it hurts.
Take note of some safety tips when exercising. If you haven’t been physically active for a long time, remember to start slowly. Exercise moderately at first and build your activity little by little. Work hard at your exercise through a slow progression. Take deep breaths especially when you’re doing strength exercises. Otherwise, holding your breath could affect your blood pressure. When you are lifting something, breathe out, and breathe in when you relax. You’ll know you’re doing your exercise properly if it doesn’t make you feel tired. You may feel some soreness or discomfort or weariness but your exercise and physical activity shouldn’t cause you pain.