Last week we talked about the younger generations, and now it's time to cover the older individuals! Being active is important through all walks of life, no matter what stage you are in with yours!
Staying active helps you remain independent, prevents health problems, and revs your metabolism. Exercise may also improve your strength and balance, give you more energy, boost your mood, and improve your brain function.
If you are elderly and looking for ways to become more active, or if you have a loved one in this situation, here are some helpful tips!
First, see your doctor: Talk to your doctor about which types of exercise may be best for you. If you’re starting a new fitness program, clear it with them first.
Get aerobic exercise: Most older adults need about 2½ hours of aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, every week. That’s about 30 minutes on most days. Endurance exercises like walking, dancing, and playing tennis help your breathing, heart rate, and energy.
Stay flexible: Try stretching and yoga. They keep you limber and make it easier to move.
Work on your balance: Things like standing on one foot, walking heel-to-toe, or practicing tai chi or yoga can keep you steady and help prevent falls.
Try strength training: It prevents you from losing muscle mass and strengthens your bones. Aim for 2 days a week. Good choices are lifting weights, using resistance bands, and doing body weight exercises like pushups and situps. A personal trainer can teach you good form to avoid injury.
Look out for your joints: Choose things that are gentle on your joints, which weaken as you age. Walking, swimming, and biking are good choices to keep your hips and knees working well.
Make adjustments: Even if you can’t move as well as you used to, you can still work out. Swimming is a good option. Water exercise makes it easier for your body to support your weight. It also increases how far you can move your joints (the doctor will call this range of motion).
If it’s hard to stand up, try sitting in a chair and doing upper-body exercises with resistance bands.
If you aren’t active now, take it one step at a time. Start by getting up and out of your chair. The next day, walk down the hall and back. Later, try marching in place. Keep it slow, and get ready to see progress as your body adapts.
Along with exercise, your diet is also vital to living an active, healthy life. As you age, your needs change. Adding in supplements can help you achieve your dietary needs without changing all of your usual eating habits. Protein specifically can help preserve muscle tissue, which helps aid in your overall mobility. Women typically need about 46 grams a day, and men need about 56 grams. With that being said, are you getting enough protein? If the answer is no, you might want to check out our Whey Isolate!
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