Exercise – stay fit for life!
Exercise and physical activity are good for you, no matter what your age. In fact, that’s what Get Healthy Cincinnati is all about – getting and staying fit for life. Healthy activity has many benefits for seniors, including improving your weight, strength, energy, mood and balance. It can also prevent or delay illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and osteoporosis.
There are all kinds of ways to build physical activity into your daily routine – and it doesn’t have to involve going to a gym or buying special workout clothes. Dancing, a brisk walk, climbing stairs, yard work and even house work are just a few examples of activities that keep you moving. Who would have thought that vacuuming was actually good for you?
To get the maximum benefit of physical activity, you should try four types of exercise.
- Endurance– Try to build up to at least 30 minutes of activity each day that makes you breathe hard. It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes all at once – ten minutes at a time, three times a day works, too!
- Strength - Pick exercises that challenge your muscles. Healthy muscles will help you stay independent longer and reduce your risk of falling.
- Balance – Stay steady on your feet. Simple exercises getting up from a chair without using your hands or walking heel-to-toe can help you improve your balance.
- Stretch– Improving your flexibility will help with many of your daily routines, from tying your shoes to looking over your shoulder when you drive. Don’t stretch so far that it hurts.
If you haven’t exercised in a long time, start slowly. If you are over age 50 and aren’t used to energetic activity, check with a doctor first. If you do exercise, contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Dizziness or shortness of breath
- Chest pain or pressure, or the feeling that your heart is skipping, racing, or fluttering
- Blood clots
- An infection or fever with muscle aches
- Unplanned weight loss
- Foot or ankle sores that won’t heal
- Joint swelling
- A hernia
- Recent hip or back surgery
A routine physical is a good way to find out if you are ready to exercise. To find a physician near you, call 877-904-4YOU or visit www.TheChristHospital.com.