Exercising When Older

The media frequently reminds those of us who are older to get sufficient physical activity and exercise, at least 30 minutes a day.  This is an easier task when we are in our 60s but progressively becomes more difficult.  It is never simple to maintain a consistent schedule and keep up with both aerobic and strength exercises.  As we get older, back pain and achy knees are additional daily obstacles to an active workout.  

I bought an Apple watch to track my exercise and heart rate, and a-fibrillation which is common among my older friends and relatives.  I find it very helpful in tracking the amount and quality of exercise, but I am sometimes shocked at how hard it is to do 30 active minutes.  

Types of Exercises:

  • Aerobic exercises increase endurance and improve heart outcomes.
  • Strength with weights and impact exercises increase bone density and posture.
  • Balance movements are considered a potential measure of longevity and are important   to prevent falls and serious injuries.
  • Stretching improves flexibility and keeps our muscles limber.

The overall benefits include improved balance, increased strength, a long-term reduction in cognitive decline.  Many report improved mental health and mood disorders.  

The question for all of us is how to stay motivated, no matter your age?  Establishing a routine for your exercise is the beginning.  Maybe establish a special time each day and use a checklist.  Having a partner to walk or workout with helps with having fun and enjoyment so you won’t really notice the time pass.  The important motivator is to have fun!

Also, what is the difference between exercise and physical activity?  Both improve your health, mobility, and emotional well-being. People of all ages need to exercise but as we age it becomes a necessity. 


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