As we become older, we are not as likely to engage in physical activity. How important is fitness for seniors? Research has conclusively demonstrated that physical activity is linked to increased longevity. The amount of exercise required depends on the person, but in common, people need to increase their exercise as they get older. Yet, elderly people frequently do the opposite.

It is never too late to start exercising. At any age, even small improvements in physical fitness and activity (such as walking regularly) can prolong life and independent living. Yet, so many people are still sedentary. If you are like most people, you know that exercise is good for you, yet you cannot seem to get moving.

Where to start:

You must make a deliberate, prepared effort to exercise. Choose an activity you enjoy or have enjoyed in the past, such as walking, dancing, cycling, swimming, or gardening, and make a commitment to doing it regularly. Focus on making the knowledge as pleasant as possible. Ask a friend to be your activity partner.

Start slowly, with less than five minutes of activity, and progress gradually. If you have been sedentary, accept the fact that it may take a while to be able to move continuously for 30 minutes. Recognize that you may feel some discomfort in the beginning.

Over time, you will get stronger and these early aches will fade. If you choose to embark on vigorous activity and you are over the age of 50, or even have risk factors for heart disease, seek advice from your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Senior fitness tips:

*The simplest way to start a physical fitness program is to start with stretching exercises (flexibility exercises). Stretching movements market healthy muscle growth and reduce the stiffness and lack of balance that accompanies aging.

*If you are hesitant to start a workout program, consider others methods of being physically active. Walking, bicycling, swimming, aerobic water exercises, and gardening are extremely good exercise options.

*Water exercises are especially beneficial for the elderly and also have been shown to have similar cardiovascular benefits for older people because “on the ground” aerobic exercises.

*For those who have brought a sedentary lifestyle for a long time, reduced impact aerobics, tai chi, or even self-paced walking are very beneficial. Start slowly. Even for those confined to a nursing home, there are programs geared towards enhancing strength and flexibility.

*Most people think that strength training is unnecessary as well as unattainable after the age of 60. However, the opposite is true. As one ages, adding resistance training to a physical exercise program can reduce the process of muscle erosion. Strength training also improves heart and blood vessel health insurance and general well being.


A sedentary lifestyle is one of the major risk factors for coronary artery disease, together with smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Exercise, however, improves heart health in people and can reverse some risk factors, including the effects of smoking. People who exercise the most often have the lowest risk for heart disease and stroke.

Exercise provides the following benefits:

*Reduces your risk of developing certain types of cancer such as prostate gland, colon, and breast.

*Reduces your risk of: diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

*Helps a person maintain a healthy weight by increasing your metabolism.

*Increases energy and endurance.

*Helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.

*Contributes to better, much more restful sleep.

Eating a healthy, nutritious diet and following a physical exercise program are the keys to residing your best life. No matter what how old you are, it is NEVER too late to start moving!

Fitness and Exercise for Seniors

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