Exercise is important at any age

Exercise at any age is important, but as we age, we may notice limitations. Learn to work with them for overall well being.

Exercise at any age is important to our health, but sometimes as we age we may begin to notice limitations. Our joints may begin to get sore or our muscles may not recover as quickly. Perhaps, we are beginning to develop arthritis or back pain. Even with physical limitations, it is important for our health to continue to be active!

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state that older adults should follow the basic guidelines for adults younger than 65. All adults should work toward being physically active at least two hours and 30 minutes per week. Moderate physical activities should increase your heart rate, but not to the point one cannot talk while exercising.

Breaking up your workouts into small segments is an effective way to achieve the recommended two hours and 30 minutes of physical activity per week. An aerobic segment of 10 minutes, spread out during your day can help you fit in physical activity. In addition to aerobic activity, it’s important to complete at least one muscle-strengthening activity and two stretching/flexibility activities each week.

Some simple ways to add physical activity to your day can be to:

  • Walk at the mall

  • Park at the far end of a parking lot

  • Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator

  • Walk around the block during your lunch hour or at a break

  • Go swimming if you have knee or joint pain

Per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is strong evidence that regular physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and colon or breast cancers. Physical activity can also prevent weight gain, improve your cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, reduce depression and improve cognitive functioning. Michigan State University Extension believes that physical activity is important to our overall well being. Consider adding small segments each day to increase your physical activity!

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