Regular exercise over 50 can prevent and help treat many of the most common chronic medical conditions associated with old age that can put incredible stresses on relationships as we get older. A great deal of what most of us associate with aging may be largely due to a lack physical activity. and it's not too late to start exercising.
Fortunately for couples, it is often easier to keep up an exercise regimen when you do it with someone else. When the "someone else" is your partner, you not only get the physical benefits of the exercise and lower the risk that one of you will end up with a full time job caring for the other, but it can strengthen your relationship in ways that you don't even imagine until you do it.
Physical activity that maintains muscle strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health is one of the most important steps older adults can take to maintain physical and mental health and quality of life.
Exercise over 50 can help reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, depression, colon cancer,dementia, Alzheimer's disease and premature death.
Research on dementia and Alzheimer's disease" suggests that exercise over 50 is one of the important lifestyle choices that you can make that can lower your risk of suffering from them. You can read the whole article from the American Psychological Association by clicking HERE
It can decrease the need for hospitalizations, physician visits, and medications. Yet today, more than 60% of older adults are inactive.
The key seems to be to find something that feels good, makes sense, and that you can do. It's worth your while to look into options such as the YMCA, health clubs, classes, or programs delivered by computer.
Exercise over 50 also helps to control weight, contributes to healthy bones, muscles, and joints, helps to relieve the pain of arthritis, and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.
While people of all ages benefit from moderate exercise, it has been reported that we who are over 50 tend to get less active as we age until by age 75 about one in three men and one in two women do not engage in any physical activity.
Choosing Your Form of Exercise Over 50: The Challenge to Get Moving
The average American lives a long time, but many of us are sedentary, physically unfit, and experience disability from chronic medical conditions as we age. Physical activity clearly is good for us, but it remains a challenge to get ourselves to simply move, stretch, and exert ourselves more.
We older adults face the same obstacles to being more physically active as younger adults, but also have special concerns. Among the many reasons that older adults give as to why we are not active are that:
It doesn't feel good.
It makes my arthritic joints hurt.
It takes too much time.
These are definitely all reasons, but they do not change the fact that we older adults need at least as much as physical activity as younger adults.
Social Support for Exercise
One factor that makes regular exercise more likely is doing it with someone else, preferably someone you like to be with. Especially if you are one of those who don't find exercise to feel good, doing it with someone else can make all the difference. It is a way to meet people, to spend more time with people you like, and it is harder to cook up excuses for not keeping commitments that include other people.
Walking groups and other physical activity programs designed for older adults can help seniors become—and remain active. Senior swim clubs and water aerobic classes are excellent activities for people with arthritis. If there isn't something like this available to you, ask for it or start one.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends that all adults should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on five or more days of the week.
Cardiorespiratory (aerobic) endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises should all be part of a physical activity program for older adults. No one type of activity will bring about all the benefits of physical activity. It is important to include all of them.
Participating in these types of exercise over 50 can help you more easily perform many of your day-to-day tasks. For example, being more flexible will help you more easily do things like reaching in your cupboard and tying your shoes. Being stronger and having more balance will help you lift and carry items like sacks of groceries and will make it easier to get in and out of chairs and the bathtub. Improving your cardiorespiratory endurance will allow you to do things like climbing stairs, dancing, or playing with grandchildren without getting out of breath.
Cardiorespiratory . . . Strength . . . Flexibility
The list below provides ideas of activities in the areas of cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, and flexibility. Many of these activities will also help improve your balance. Most importantly, choose activities that you enjoy. This will make it more likely that you’ll keep doing them!
Lifting weights or cans
Carrying laundry or groceries
Working in the yard
Washing the car
Rolling your wheelchair
Scrubbing the floor
Do not begin any type of exercise program without checking with your healthcare provider.
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