Getting Active Isn’t Just About Adding Years to Your Life — It’s About Adding Life to Your Years!

A well-rounded exercise program provides you with many benefits and delivers the healthy results you want and need as you age. There are four types of exercise: Endurance, Strength, Balance, and Flexibility. Research has shown that it’s important to include all four in your workout routines. Doing one type will also improve your abilities in the other three areas.

The Four Types of Exercise

  1. Endurance: Aerobic exercise (meaning “with air”) utilizes your cardiovascular system, strengthening your heart and lungs. Endurance exercises give you more stamina, improves lung capacity, burns calories and releases endorphins, causing you to feel good. Examples include: dancing, walking, jogging, swimming, biking, and jump roping.

  2. Balance: Balance exercises are movements that aim to improve your postural control. A balanced body is one in which multiple parts of the body work together to create and maintain stability. Having good balance will help increase coordination and improve stability to prevent falls. Examples of this type of exercise include: dance, calisthenics, tandem walking, Pilates, balancing on one leg, and leg extensions.

  3. Strength: Muscular strength is vital to maintain as you age. Strength training involves the performance of physical exercises that are designed to make you stronger and increase your endurance from head to toe. Some strength exercises you could incorporate into your workouts are: lifting weights, resistance bands, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, standing and sitting exercises, and utility balls.
  • Flexibility: I like to refer to flexibility training as the three L’s: Longer, Looser and Limber. Flexibility exercises improve your joints, making daily tasks and physical activity easier. The best way to improve flexibility is through stretching. Stretching elongates muscles, helps with stiffness, and reduces achy muscles and joints. This helps prevent injuries, promotes good posture, improves balance and increases mobility. There are two types of stretching: static and dynamic. With static stretching, you hold a position without moving for a short amount of time. Dynamic stretching combines stretching with movement. Is it important to incorporate stretching before and after all of your workouts. 

Improving Your Quality of Life

While only part of the equation, physical exercise has a tremendous impact on reducing the adverse physiological effects of aging. Regular movement can keep your mind youthful and sharp. As you age, there are many reasons people might tend to slow down and become sedentary. Health problems, weight gain, pain issues, worries about falling or simply the thought that exercise isn’t for you can all affect motivation. Whatever the case, you should do your best to get moving and become more active. I believe that physical activity contributes to longevity, happiness, and adds extra years to your life. Let’s all get moving, be active, and engaged – it’s the perfect time to have fun so you can enjoy every day of your life!

Healthy Tips for Seniors

  • Exercise and stay active
  • Maintain strong bones
  • Don’t let joint pain slow you down
  • Eat a heart healthy diet
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Don’t forget your wellness appointments and recommended screenings
  • Make sure your hearing is loud and clear
  • Get your beauty rest
  • Take care of your eyes
  • Keep your medications organized and safe
  •  Do activities that you enjoy
  • Take time to socialize and spend time with friends and family
  • Keep your mind engaged by taking classes, learning new skills, hobbies, playing games and reading
  • Know that you can do anything you set your mind to
  • Have a positive outlook on life.
  • Enjoy every moment of every day

This article originally appeared in the Coastal Breeze.

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