Foster Good Health with senior-fitness

Senior-fitness supported by good nutrition is the key to a healthy life. And you can’t have a happy retirement without good health. When we think of fitness we think of exercise or being physically active. So we all need to be physically active but before starting any exercise program, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.

We don’t have to join an expensive health club or gym to start a senior-fitness exercise program. You can start a walking program or band resistance exercises at home. However, the consultation of a professional exercise physiologist would help in starting an effective exercise activity. Some Medicare Advantage health insurance companies provide health club benefits. Check with your insurance carrier for verification and details. There are also some churches that offer good exercise facilities for low annual fees.

Movement of our body and muscle groups speeds up our heart and makes us breath more deeply. This brings more oxygen and nutrients to all parts of our body and clears your body of waste. Additionally, working your body harder increases the strength and flexibility of your muscles.

A good sustained exercise program will improve the quality of your life by:

  • Assisting in the reduction of high blood pressure.
  • Assisting in the management of cholesterol levels.
  • Assisting in management of blood sugar and helps prevent diabetes.
  • Helping to prevent Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
  • Lowering your risk of heart disease.
  • Make it easier to lose weight.
  • Helps to elevate your mood and gives you more energy and helps relieve depression.
  • Improves your sex life.
  • Helps to keep your brain sharp
  • Helps you to live longer and improves the quality of that life.

Senior-fitness exercise keeps our brain, heart, and all our other parts fit, as well as keeping our muscles and bones strong, our joints flexible, and our balance stable. I think that we have established that exercise is important. Two other points are that it is never too late to start and there is no excuse not to begin.

Three kinds of exercise to maintain senior-fitness

To get the best results we need: 

  • Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise gets your heart rate up and makes you breathe deeply. It helps to get your heart, lungs, and blood vessels in great shape. Aerobic activities include walking, jogging, swimming, biking, or any other activity that keeps you moving.
  • Strength training. In strength training, we use resistance to do more work than we normally do. This makes your muscles and bones stronger, and benefits your heart. Strength training can be done with the weight machines, free weights, or resistance bands. In the beginning of your training program, remember to take it easy. Always put safety first and being “macho” last. If you are just beginning a strength building program, be slow and gradual. Older muscles are more easily injured if you do too much too fast. It is not worth the risk of injury to overdo it. If in doubt seek professional advice and always discuss with your physician.
  • Flexibility exercise. Flexibility exercises prepare your body for more strenuous exercise and help prevent injury. Some call them warm up exercises. You may know them as stretching exercises. Stretching requires you to make slow movements that improve how far you can reach and how smooth your movements are. Flexibility exercises like those done in Yoga relax your muscles and your mind. Together with strength training, flexibility gives you better balance and helps prevent falls. 
Senior-fitness exercise is measured by duration, intensity, and frequency. A good target for aerobic exercise is 30 minutes per day minimum for five days per week. Each session should be started with a five minute warm up and end with a five minute cool down. Additionally aim for two to three strength training sessions per week not on consecutive days. Check out available home exercise equipment and refer to books by Dr. Sears and Dr. Willix listed on the resource page of this site. They both have excellent chapters on exercise.

Always discuss both exercise and nutritional supplements with your physician before starting.

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