Importance for Older People to Stay ActiveOlder people may think that the refrains ‘do more exercise,
eat more fruits and vegetables' are aimed at a younger audience, but that simply isn't true. To maintain a decent level of fitness, older adults should do a minimum of two different types of exercise activities each and every week, meaning both a muscle strengthening activity and a cardiovascular exercise aerobic activity.
It is very important for people over the age of 65 who are fit and without any long term health conditions that may affect their ability to do exercise to be active with some form of physical activity every day. Each week, people in this age bracket should do at least two and a half hours of moderate activity, such as light jogging or walking, with a muscle strengthening activity for a minimum of two days. This activity must work on all muscle groups. As another option, a person can do one hour and fifteen minutes of a vigorous activity such as singles tennis, with an equal amount of muscle strengthening. This can be alternated as required.
There is no need to panic if you don't do any exercise at the moment you are probably doing more than you think already. This is because moderate intensity aerobic activity includes walking fast, swimming, ballroom dancing and bike riding, even carrying the shopping home from the supermarket counts, as both a muscle strengthening and an aerobic exercise. The key part is that it should make you breathe quicker and make your heart beat slightly harder. Every day activities such as cooking and housework also count towards your moderate activity for the week, so why not round it out with the vacuum cleaner! Vigorous activity includes a game of football, hiking up steep hills, energetic dancing and running. Anything as long as you are puffing and out of breath and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit.
For your muscle strengthening activity, you don't have to be lifting weights in a gym. Chores like carrying the shopping or helping a family member move furniture count just as much. Muscle strengthening activities include activities such as stepping, dancing and exercises that use your body as a weight such as push ups and sit ups, even intense gardening and weeding. You can incorporate exercise equipment into your routine. Try foam rollers for inspiration for your routine. The secret is to do repetitions of movements. Try doing repetitions at least eight to twelve times.
Another perk to exercise is that it is a good way to prevent falls by working on your balance and co-ordination. Exercises such as tai chi, yoga and dancing can help you get to grips with balance.