It's never too late to start getting active. Being fit is
important to everyone. You can benefit from physical activity even if you think
of yourself as "elderly" or you already have conditions such as
osteoarthritis or heart disease. Being more active may
improve your quality of life and can prevent or delay disability.
You can work on all three areas of fitness: aerobic fitness, muscle
strengthening, and flexibility. Follow these general guidelines:
Although many people decrease their exercise as they age,
continuing to exercise has definite benefits.
Exercise has specific health benefits for older adults.
Physical activity does not have to be strenuous. Older
adults can gain significant health benefits with a moderate amount of physical
activity. This can be done in longer sessions of moderately intense activities
(such as walking) or in shorter sessions of more vigorous activities (such as
fast walking or stair-walking).
Exercise caution signs for older adults
When you exercise, you do experience
minor muscle and joint soreness. But other signs may point to something more
serious. Stop exercising if you develop:
American College of Sports Medicine, et al. (2009). Position stand: Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(7): 1510–1530.
September 17, 2012
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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