As we age, we often forget the importance of exercising. What most people don’t understand is that age has nothing to do with your need to exercise. In fact, even older people can participate in a moderate exercise regimen to improve their health and mobility. Before starting to exercise, keep these tips in mind to help you ensure you not only get the most out of your regimen, but stay safe.
1. Always Consult Your Physician First
It is important that you. This is especially a vital step for the elderly who suffer from a medical condition or have been inactive for a long time. Your doctor can help you assess your exercise level and help you design an exercise program which won’t put a strain on your health and still gives you the workout you need. In some cases, your doctor may even perform a stress test to measure your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing as well as your strength and energy levels.
2. Start Out Slow
Never start your exercises too quickly as it can strain your bones and muscles. Walking is the safest exercise for the elderly as it isn’t too physically demanding, but over the course of several weeks can improve blood pressure and build your stamina in order to endure more demanding forms of exercise. Start walking for about 10-15 minutes each day and start to brisk walk in order to increase your energy and strength.
3. Pay Attention To Your Body
You can be in great shape, swimming and running marathons, but if you start to experience any dizziness or pain during your exercise routine, stop. This is your body’s way of telling you that you’re reaching beyond your limits. If this happens, consult your doctor right away and get a second opinion on whether or not it is safe for you to resume exercising.
4. Work Around Your Limitations
If you have any disabilities or mobility issues, there are plenty of exercise programs which can help you work around your limitations. Those with limited mobility can visit senior centers or local gyms for low-impact exercise classes and may even have the opportunity to participate in team sports. Bowling allies are often wheelchair accessible and usually accommodate the vision impaired. Local swimming pools may also offer water aerobic exercises for seniors to help stay in shape.
5. Choose Fun Activities
It is important that you enjoy the activities you sign up for and end up looking forward to your exercise. There are so many options for the elderly to get good exercise and your local YMCA offers a wealth of classes geared towards seniors. Such activities may include dancing classes, archery, golf, swimming and cycling. For those who are constantly physically active, joining the senior Olympics can help cure your competitive streak.
Just because you’re older it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy exercising. In fact, there are many fun activities that seniors can participate in to stay in shape. The important thing is to take it slow and increase your routine as your strength allows.
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John Dyer is a fitness writer. He loves to workout and share his fitness experience in his writings with everyone. He is currently working foras a freelance writer.