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Increasing Activity

Exercise for Seniors

Many different physical activities can improve your health and independence.

Walking on Treadmill for Aerobic Exercise

Whether you choose to do the exercises we suggest or other activities that accomplish the same goals, gradually work your way up to include endurance, strength, balance, and stretching exercises.

Here are some points to keep in mind as you begin increasing your activity:

  • If you stop exercising for several weeks and then return, start out at about half the effort you were putting into it when you stopped, then gradually build back up. Some of the effects of endurance and muscle-building exercises deteriorate within 2 weeks if these activities are cut back substantially, and benefits may disappear altogether if they aren't done for 2 to 8 months.
  • When an exercise calls for you to bend forward, bend from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your entire back and shoulders straight as you bend forward, that will help ensure that you are bending the right way, from the hips. If you find your back or shoulders humping in any spot as you bend forward, that's a sign that you are bending incorrectly, from the waist. Bending from the waist may cause spine fractures in some people with osteoporosis.
  • It's possible to combine exercises. For example, regular stair-climbing sessions improve endurance and strengthen leg muscles at the same time.

Aerobicize: Older adults who do regular aerobic exercise (at least three hours a week) show increased blood flow to the brain, which could prevent a decline in brain function, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.