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Fitness Friday: Aging and Exercise

When you’re young, staying active and physically fit is
actually enjoyable and satisfying, yet when you’re older, it’s easy to lose
that motivation and interest, and find excuses for not making an effort to take
charge of your health and wellbeing.

It’s understandable, since you feel like your strength and
agility have escaped with your youth, but study after study has shown that
being physically active and exercising regularly is incredibly beneficial for
both body and mind. Starting an exercise routine can be difficult if you’re
afraid of injuring yourself or risking your health.

However, one of the greatest advantages of physical activity
is that there are so many ways to engage in it. You don’t need a lot of heavy-duty
equipment or even a gym membership to improve your health.

Today, we’re going to talk about some of the advantages of
working out and some methods of doing it, even when you think that you’re just
too old for it!

Advantages:

  • Reduce
    the risk of developing certain diseases and chronic conditions.

            ~Heart Disease prevention: Interval training can improve heart health

            ~Diabetes control: Regular
exercise can help insulin more effectively lower your blood sugar levels, and
you’ll gain an energy boost.

           ~Arthritis: Exercise aids in the
prevention and improvement of arthritis, by reducing joint stiffness and
strengthening muscles and joints.

          ~Cancer prevention: Evidence
has shown that physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of cancers
of the colon, breast, prostate, lung, and the lining of the uterus.

  • Slow down
    the brain’s aging by 10 years.

According to recent studies, older adults
who engage in moderate to intense exercise on a regular basis can keep their
cognitive abilities for a longer period of time. Physical activity even lowers
the risk of dementia later in life, particularly in those who are overweight or
obese.


Methods of Working Out:

First, you should understand that you’re never too old to
start exercising, and improving your health. In fact, you’ll be able to enjoy
even greater mental and physical benefits than a younger person would. If
you’ve never exercised before, you probably wouldn’t have experienced those
types of sports injuries that a young athlete may have. Even if you’re wheelchair-bound, there are
still certain exercises and programs you can join to stay active without
hurting yourself.

Before you commence any workout routine, make sure you
recognize your strengths and limitations, and begin with an assessment of your
current condition.

Here are just a few exercises you can start with in your
everyday life that are both fun, and low-impact:

         ~Dancing: improves gait, coordination,
and balance in seniors, which can aid in preventing injuries from falls, not to
mention, it’s also a great way to socialize!

          ~Lifting weights with groceries: You
don’t need elaborate equipment or to even go to the gym, to build your
strength. Instead of weights, you can try lifting objects from your pantry or
refrigerator, such as canned vegetables or milk jugs—this way, you can do bicep
curls, and other motions to work your upper body.

         ~Cycling: Cycling allows you to get a
good cardiovascular workout, as well as improve balance and focus. As an
additional advantage, you can cycle on a stationary bike indoors, or take a
ride outside.

       ~Yoga: Yoga is not only
stress-reducing, it also effectively improves strength, balance, and
coordination.

Remember, age is just a number! In the words of legendary track and field athlete and Olympic gold medalist, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, “age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put in you mind.” 

 No matter how old you are,
there’s never a bad time to start taking charge of your health. For all of your
health and fitness needs, please visit us at Fitness Rush, and check back for more
healthy living tips. 

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