Importance of Exercise for Seniors

The Importance of Exercise for Seniors

When deciding to try a new or different type of exercise program it is wise for seniors to consult with a physician.  It is recommended to have a health screening prior to an exercise test or starting a new exercise regime that may require increased endurance or intensity.

While exercises like walking or stretching are safe for most individuals, a person’s age, medical diagnosis, physical condition, and activity goals are factors that determine the extent of the evaluation needed.

Determining Fitness Abilities For Seniors

To determine the next best exercise program for you it will be important to reflect on the following:

Is My Activity Aerobic or Anaerobic:

  • Mostly sedentary and walk rarely
  • Low-intensity exercises like walking or stretching
  • High-intensity exercises like hiking, power walking, swimming, or tennis

How often do I currently or want to exercise?  

  • A few times a month
  • Up to 3 times a week
  • 3 or more times a week

Where can I exercise?

  • In my home
  • In my neighborhood
  • At a community center
  • In a class with others
  • With a private trainer or occupational therapist

Ideas for equipment or attire will you need?

  • Easy to move in clothing
  • Tennis Shoes
  • Weights
  • Bands
  • Music
  • A chair
  • Hearing aids
  • My dog and his leash

Assessing Health Status

Do you have:

  • Any current physical disabilities?
  • High blood pressure?
  • Elevated cholesterol?
  • Habits like smoking or drinking?
  • Arthritis?
  • Diabetes?
  • Family history of coronary or cardiovascular disease prior to age 50?
  • Medications you take that might contraindicate the type of exercise plan you are exploring?
  • Someone to support you in your goals?
  • The need for physical assistance to implement a new exercise or physical routine?

Orchard at Athens will provide a complimentary coaching session to discuss your health concerns to do with chronic disease.  Our luxury Senior Living is more than a residential building. Orchard is a community resource you can utilize for council and feedback about your goals, so please reach out to us!

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise For Seniors

This is a system of physical conditioning that improves your body’s ability to take in and use oxygen. Activities such as walking, hiking, jogging, swimming, and dancing, will stimulate heart and lung activity producing a benefit for your body.  The activity of choice must raise your heart rate (pulse) for at least 20 minutes and include at least three experiences a week is recommended. Aerobic exercise is calculated to be between 60 and 90% of your maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate is an elusive number that can be determined using the formula:

220 – (your age) = Maximum Heart Rate (MHR).

Aerobic exercise is beneficial to your health because it:

  • Requires the pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart to deliver oxygen to working muscles.
  • Stimulates breathing rates to increase endurance.
  • Strengthens the heart and enables it to pump more blood with each beat.
  • Lowers risk for developing cancer, diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.
  • Can increase the burning of fat and carbohydrates by as much as 50%, in just a matter of weeks in response to consistent exercise.
  • Improves physical and mental health.
  • Adds to your social life by connecting you with friends and community

Tips For Seniors To Create An Exercise Habit

  • Make it fun
  • Create a routine
  • Keep it interesting and change it up
  • Wear good shoes
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
  • Listen to music
  • Make sure you are rested
  • Exercise with others

And be sure to remember, if at any time while exercising you develop chest pain, pounding heart beats, or dizziness you should stop immediately and seek medical advice.

It is always a good idea to discuss exercise health and risk factors with your physician. Beginning at age 52, it is recommended to meet with your physician every year or two to discuss the prevention of disease risks and proactive health and well-being options.

Orchard at Athens believes moving is a key to well-being. Visit today and learn more about the many indoor and outdoor opportunities for staying healthy no matter the health condition you are struggling with.