Staying active is not science. Just remember that mixing different types of physical activity helps to keep your workouts interesting and improve your overall health. The key is to find activities that you enjoy—based on the four building blocks of fitness.
What it is: Maintains standing and stability, whether you’re stationary or moving around. Try yoga, Tai Chi, and posture exercises to gain confidence with balance.
Why it’s good for you: Improves balance, posture, and quality of your walking. Also reduces the risk of falling and fear of falls.
What it is: Uses large muscle groups in rhythmic motions over a period of time. Cardio workouts get your heart pumping and you may even feel a little short of breath. Includes walking, stair climbing, swimming, hiking, cycling, rowing, tennis, and dancing.
Why it’s good for you: Helps lessen fatigue and shortness of breath. Promotes independence by improving endurance for daily activities such as walking, house cleaning, and errands.
What it is: Builds up muscle with repetitive motion using weight or external resistance from body weight, machines, free weights, or elastic bands.
Why it’s good for you: Strength training helps prevent loss of bone mass, builds muscle, and improves balance—both important for staying active and avoiding falls. Building strength and power will help you stay independent and make day-to-day activities easier such as opening a jar, getting in and out of a car, and lifting objects.
What it is: Challenges the ability of your body’s joints to move freely through a full range of motion. This can be done through stationary stretches and stretches that involve movement to keep your muscles and joints supple and less prone to injury. Yoga is an excellent means of improving flexibility.
Why it’s good for you: Helps your body stay limber and increases your range of movement for ordinary physical activities, such as looking behind while driving, tying your shoes, shampooing your hair, and playing with your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Types of Beneficial Activities Ideally, you should be able to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate endurance activity each week. This would include walking, swimming, cycling, and a little bit of time every day to improve cardio, strength, flexibility, and balance.
- Walking – Walking is a perfect way to start exercising. It requires no special equipment, aside from a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and can be done anywhere.
- Fitness classes – Keeps you motivated while also providing a source of fun, stress relief, and a place to meet friends.
- Water aerobics – Working out in water reduces stress and strain on the body’s joints.
- Yoga – Combines a series of poses with breathing. Moving through the poses helps improve strength, flexibility, and balance, and can be adapted to any level.
- Tai Chi and Qi Gong – Martial arts-inspired systems of movement that increase balance and strength.
Getting healthier is a year-round commitment. Find a way to work out and move each day. Try following a fitness YouTube channel (Senior Fitness with Meredith), joining a fitness program at a local gym or community center; Or, it could be as simple as golfing, gardening, cleaning, or walking…just keep moving!
Stay happy, healthy, and confident always! – Meredith