Staying active is often not quite as straightforward as it sounds. Between the ages of 30 and 40 wear and tear begins to take a toll on the body, bone mass begins to decrease and muscle fibers shorten and weaken. Regular exercise will help to prevent serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, and it can help you maintain overall physical health and well-being. Here are few tips for helping your body to stay young and active.
Time’s Natural Impact
Our bodies lose more bone density and muscle with each passing decade. Most people in good health don’t need a doctor’s “okay” to start a gentle exercise program, such as daily walking. However, if you are 60 years old, or have a serious medical condition, then before starting any exercise program, you should consult with your doctor.
It’s important to combine four types of exercise into the routine for overall health and well-being.
- Aerobic or cardiovascular activities: To make the lungs and heart work harder. You should try spending at least 30 minutes a day engaging in activities like walking briskly, biking, dancing, swimming or taking a water aerobics class. For raising your heart rate simply do chores around the house: gardening, raking leaves or washing the car.
- Strengthening Exercises: To build and strengthen muscles and increase bone density. You need to do strengthening exercises 2 to 3 times a week, using resistance bands, dumbbells, or weight machines. To prevent injury and to learn correct form, take classes at a gym.
- Stretching: Do stretching to increase the flexibility and to make movement easier. Sign up for stretching classes, or stretch on your own for 10 minutes a day. Yoga and Pilates are excellent choices.
- Balance Exercise: Balance exercise is needed as you age to reduce the risk of falling. Yoga and Tai Chi can improve your equilibrium. One simple balance exercise is to stand on one foot and then the other without holding any support.
Moving More at Home
There are many ways you can stay motivated and active at home.
- Cleaning the house: Researchers say that cleaning is a great workout, particularly when you have a big home, because it requires a fair amount of lifting, walking, and stretching.
- Walking the dog: Those people who walk their dogs regularly have an overall lower body mass index (BMI) than those people who do not walk a dog.
- Gardening and Yard Work: Gardens are great for providing us with fresh and healthy food, but the actual act of gardening can also have a positive effect on physical health. Regular gardening can help you maintain agility and strength. It can also reduce joint pain and stiffness. The same goes for yard work.
Stay Active and Safe
As we discussed, it is important to stay active, but it is also more important to play it safe. As more aged people engage in the physical activities, injuries can be an issue. This is particularly true for those who ride bicycles, lift weights and use exercise machines.
According to the latest study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 53,000 people, ages 65 and older visited U.S. hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries in 2016. More such injuries were likely handled in physicians’ offices.
Know your limitations, and exercise moderately. It’s not how much you do as it is simply that you are doing something to keep moving and improve your health.