Did you know that, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), only 25 percent of people aged 65-74 say they engage in regular physical activity?
Adults should exercise at every age, even if they have not exercised in the past. The benefits of physical activity accumulate over a lifetime so it is important that those who have exercised in their younger years keep that exercise momentum.
You’re never too old to increase your level of physical activity and exercise! Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition’s progression once it starts, reports a Mayo Clinic study published in October 2011 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Regular exercise is beneficial for people of all ages. Exercise helps to improve muscle and joint flexibility and keeps your heart healthy. It also can improve sleep and helps to maintain a healthy weight.
Here how to start:
Include your grandchildren in your new active lifestyle. Play catch or walk to the playground and push your grandkids on the swings.
Have a pet? Taking your four-legged companion on a brisk walk is a fun way to increase your heart rate and improve circulation.
Listen to your favorite song and dance for a few minutes! Be careful that your “dance floor” is clear of objects and that you have adequate room to “boogie.”
Get Outdoors. As the leaves begin to fall, increase cardiovascular endurance by raking leaves. The raking motion will strengthen your arms and lifting the bags of leaves provides weight training.
Break it up. Instead of working out for 30-minutes, try breaking fitness activities into three 10-minute “mini workouts” throughout the day. Begin your new exercise program slowly with moderate exercise and work your way up to more vigorous and challenging activities.
Marc Sickel, a certified athletic trainer and founder of Fitness for Health located in Rockville, MD, specializes in creating fun, individualized fitness programs for children and adults with varying needs and skill levels. To learn more about Fitness for Health, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org.