Getting and staying in shape is not just possible for older adults but it becomes increasingly necessary in order to enjoy a good quality of life. Staying fit will help people live longer and stay healthy.
It is important to do both aerobic exercise and strength training on a regular basis. Half an hour daily is an excellent goal for aerobic exercise. This about getting the heart rate up, so walking fast, swimming, running or similar activities are all good ones. Whatever exercises a person chooses to strengthen their muscles, they should tackle all the major muscle groups.
For older adults, a focus on balance is particularly important. It is not uncommon for even adults who are in good condition to struggle with balance, and this could lead to injury. Simple balancing exercises are a good place to start. For example, a person could start by balancing on one foot.
It can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise regularly for people of every age, and this is true for older adults as well. Children and grandchildren can be a motivating factor. It can be fun to exercise and engage in activities with them. Some parents and grandparents are motivated by a desire to see their children and grandchildren grow up.
People who are already active can continue doing so throughout their lives. Those who are not can start at any time. However, they should discuss their plans with a doctor first who can identify any potential health issues and guide the person toward the exercises that would be most beneficial. The person should also mention any past injuries to the doctor. For example, if a person had knee problems in the past, running might not be the best exercise, especially as they age. Swimming can be a great low-impact aerobic exercise for most people.
A doctor might also be able to make some suggestions for what to eat. The right food choices fuel a person’s ability to exercise, and as a person gets older, their nutritional needs change.
What does not change is the benefits of physical activity, which is good for people of every age. Attention to fitness can help maintain both mental and physical health throughout a person’s life and well into old age.