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How Often Should You Exercise?


Exercise is an important part of nearly everyone’s everyday health. This is true for older adults, too. You should aim to be as active as possible.

Exercise can help you live a longer, healthier life. 
Most seniors should make aerobic exercise, strength training, balance, and flexibility exercise a part of their weekly routine in order to prevent health problems and remain as independent as possible.

There are many benefits of exercising when you’re a senior:

1). It improves your strength, to help you stay independent.

2). It improves your balance, to prevent falls.

3). It gives you more energy.

4). It prevents or delays diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis.

5). It can improve your mood and fight off depression.

6). It may also improve cognitive function (your brain).

Seniors age 65 and older should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) every week. That averages out to about 30 minutes on most days of the week.

You should also do strength training at least 2 days a week. You can work on balance and flexibility, and core strength every day. In addition, you should incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Examples of working more activity into your day include:

1). Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

2). Parking farther away from your destination.

3). Walking your dog.

4). Working in the yard.

5). Doing light exercises while watching TV.

It is possible for seniors to over-exercise. When that happens, they may develop these symptoms:

1). Needing longer periods of rest between exercise sessions

2). Getting overuse injuries

3). Feeling exhausted instead of energized

4). Being sore for days at a time

5). Heading Off Negative Impacts of Too Much Exercise

Moderate exercise is recommended for good physical and mental health. But seniors should take precautions to not over-exercise, which can result in negative outcomes. Those precautions include:

1). Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after you exercise.

2). Know your cues. If you start feeling dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated during exercise, stop. Similarly, stop your workout if you feel sharp tightness, pain, throbbing or burning.

3). Take it slow. Begin an exercise routine slowly to allow your endurance to increase. If your exercise program leaves you feeling tired all day, you may be pushing yourself too hard.

4). Exercise with a buddy. Just as you would never swim alone, exercise with a buddy whenever possible.

I hope this helps you decide what schedule and activities work best for you. As always, stay happy and healthy!