Exercise and Fitness
Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. There are different types of exercises that may be better suited for your physical abilities. SeniorAge Senior Activity Centers offer a variety of fitness and exercised classes to suit your individual abilities and needs.
- Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. Brisk walking or jogging, dancing, swimming, and biking are examples. Many of our Activity Centers have walking groups where you can enjoy a leisure stroll with friends and low-impact fitness classes like Tai-Chi and Yoga offered by partnering individuals.
- Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. Lifting weights or using a resistance band can build strength. Several of our Centers feature feature weight equipment to help in strength building.
- Balance exercises help prevent falls. Matter of Balance classes are offered throughout our SeniorAge service area - inquire at the Center nearest you for class schedules.
- Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber. Many of our Centers offer AFEP classes (Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program) which focus on low-impact stretching that benefit those suffering from arthritis.
Did You Know? Key Points Shared by the Surgeon General
- Older adults, both male and female, can benefit from regular physical activity.
- Physical activity need not be strenuous to achieve health benefits.
- Older adults can obtain significant health benefits with a moderate amount of physical activity, preferably daily. A moderate amount of activity can be obtained in longer sessions of moderately intense activities (such as walking) or in shorter sessions of more vigorous activities (such as fast walking or stairwalking).
- Additional health benefits can be gained through greater amounts of physical activity, either by increasing the duration, intensity, or frequency. Because risk of injury increases at high levels of physical activity, care should be taken not to engage in excessive amounts of activity.
- Previously sedentary older adults who begin physical activity programs should start with short intervals of moderate physical activity (5-10 minutes) and gradually build up to the desired amount.
- Older adults should consult with a physician before beginning a new physical activity program.
- In addition to cardiorespiratory endurance (aerobic) activity, older adults can benefit from muscle-strengthening activities. Stronger muscles help reduce the risk of falling and improve the ability to perform the routine tasks of daily life.
Benefits of Physical Activity Among Older Adults
- Helps maintain the ability to live independently and reduces the risk of falling and fracturing bones.
- Reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and of developing high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes.
- Can help reduce blood pressure in some people with hypertension.
- Helps people with chronic, disabling conditions improve their stamina and muscle strength.
- Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and fosters improvements in mood and feelings of well-being.
- Helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
- Helps control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.