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Health and Fitness

Senior Health and Fitness in your 60s, 70s, and Beyond

Exercise is an essential part of virtually everyone’s everyday health. This is true for older adults as well. Experts recommend that seniors should aspire to be as active as possible. If you are a senior, exercise can assist you in living a healthier and longer life.

There are many advantages of exercising when you’re an older adult, including:

  • It recuperates your strength. This allows you to remain independent
  • Enhances your balance, preventing falls and injuries
  • Keeps you revitalized and energetic
  • Delays or even prevents diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis
  • Improves your mood and can help ward off depression
  • May improve cognitive functions – how your brain functions

It is entirely safe for most adults older than sixty-five years of age to exercise. Patients who have chronic illnesses can also exercise safely. These illnesses include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. Many of these conditions experience improvement with exercise. If you are not sure if exercise is safe for you or if you are currently indolent, consult with an orthopedic surgeon in karachi or the one who is available in your locality.

The path to improved well being

There are four kinds of exercise. It’s essential to include all four categories in your exercise routine.

Endurance

increases your heart rate and breathing. Improves the health of your lungs, heart, and circulatory system. Builds energy. Includes:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Biking
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Climbing stairs/hills
  • Raking/ mowing

Strength

Makes your muscles stronger. Includes:

  • Weight-lifting
  • Using resistance bands and other such equipment
  • Doing body-weight exercises (sit-ups, push-ups)

Balance

Helps prevent falls. Includes:

  • Standing on one foot
  • Walking heel-to-toe
  • Yoga or Tai-chi

Flexibility

Keeps you limber, stretches your muscles, and maintains agility. Includes:

  • Stretching
  • Yoga

How often should I exercise?

Seniors aged sixty-five and older should aim for at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic exercise (for instance brisk walking) every week. That is around thirty minutes on most days of the week. Alternatively, you should get one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous exercise (for example jogging) each week. You should also incorporate strength training within your routine at least two days a week. You can work on flexibility and balance every day.

Also, your daily routine should incorporate enough physical activity and exertion. Examples of working more movement into your day include:

  • Using the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Parking farther away from your destination
  • Walking or biking places instead of driving
  • Walking your dog
  • Working in the yard
  • Doing light exercises while watching TV

Should I warm-up or cool down before or after exercise?

Warm-up for 5 minutes before you exercise. Walking slowly and then stretching are suitable warm-up activities. You should also cool down with more stretching for five minutes when you finish exercising—cooldown longer in warmer weather.

Safety tips

Check with your doctor if you’re over fifty and are not used to exercising before commencing an exercise routine. Other possible reasons to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program include, but are not limited to:

  • Dizziness and shortness of breath
  • Chest pressure or pain
  • Blood clots
  • Infections or possible infections
  • Sores that will not heal
  • Any swelling in the joints
  • Recent surgeries
  • A hernia

Wear comfortable, loose clothing and sturdy, well-fitted shoes. Your shoes should pose excellent arch support, and an elevated and cushioned heel that absorbs shock. Make sure the shoes are designed for the type of physical activity you will be using them for. There are specially designed shoes for walking, running, tennis, or dancing, for instance.

If you are not already active, begin your routine slowly and build your way up. Start with exercises that you are already accustomed to doing or do not find strenuous. Starting slowly decreases the likelihood that you will injure yourself. Starting slowly also helps prevent soreness and over exhaustion.

Exercise is only suitable for you if you are feeling up to the mark. Wait to exercise until you are feeling better if you are suffering from the flu, the cold, or another illness. If you miss exercise for more than two weeks due to some reason, be sure to start slowly yet again.

Things to keep in mind

If your joint or muscles are sore the day following exercising, you may have pushed yourself too much. Next time, exercise at a lower intensity too, till you feel ready to push your boundaries. If the discomfort or pain persists, talk to an orthopedic surgeon at your earliest. In addition, talk to your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms while exercising:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Trouble breathing or excessive shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Nausea

Questions to ask your doctor

  • Is it safe for me to exercise?
  • How can I get started?
  • Are there any exercises or activities that I should avoid given my history?
  • Is my preventive care up to date?
  • How do my health conditions affect my ability to exercise?
  • Which exercises will assist me the most?
  • I watch my diet, and I am not overweight. Do I still need to exercise?

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