Fitness for Seniors - Physical fitness is important at any age

Physical fitness is necessary at any age, so seniors should not consider abandoning physical activity acceptable. In fact, regular physical activity is more important than ever as we age, even if we can't continue at the activity levels we achieved when we were younger.

As we age and allow ourselves to become less active, we start to deteriorate literally from lack of use. Atrophy sets in quickly when muscles are not involved. Bones begin to lose density when they are not challenged with sufficient load, and naturally, the more these things occur, the higher the opportunity for sickness to set in. Even a minor illness can have long-term debilitating effects when you are out of shape.

Virtually any activity that is appropriate for average individuals is suitable for seniors. That means walking, swimming, weight training, martial arts, cycling, etc. You may not be able to run a marathon or set weightlifting records, but every effort you make to remain active preserves your health and prolongs your healthy life so you can enjoy your family and friends.

Here are some things seniors can do to increase their physical activity level:

  • Handle yard work yourself instead of hiring a neighborhood kid to do it. 
  • Walk to the store instead of driving. 
  • Go to your local mall early in the morning during the weekday and walk in a circuit, using the steps to go from level to level. It's okay to window shop while you are there, but stay away from the fast food wing!
  • Adopt a stretching routine to remain limber.
  • Adopt a resistance training routine, preferably at a gym, but at least something you will stick to at home, like a home gym, dumbbells, or anything else you can do on your own or with a partner.
  • Get a workout partner to take walks and hold you accountable for your fitness goals and routine.
  • Take your pet for a walk instead of leaving it in the yard.
  • Coach a children's sports team. That's enough to keep you young!
The main thing is to get up and do something. Don't settle for sitting on the couch watching television. If you keep yourself fit, your grandchildren and you will enjoy the beautiful years you have to give them. So, get up and do something!

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