Exercising and living an active lifestyle is important at any age. Whether it’s doing chores, strolling in the garden to enjoy nature or taking an exercise class, there are plenty of opportunities for active living.
Exercise is good for not only preventing health problems and strengthening muscles, it’s been proven to benefit the mind as well by protecting memory and thinking skills.
Experts recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week for adults over 65, which can be broken down to around 20 minutes a day.
Physical activity can be broken down into four main categories: aerobic, strength, balance and flexibility.
Exercises that will increase the heart rate can be classified as aerobic. Aquacise, gardening, line dancing or joining a walking group are all fun ways to raise breathing and heart rate. These activities can also build up endurance, making everyday activities easier to carry out.
Strength exercises are designed to make muscles stronger by lifting or pushing weight. By targeting specific muscle groups, strength can be built by gradually increasing the weight used. In order to give muscles time to rest, these kinds of exercises shouldn’t be done two days in a row. Weight exercises are also easy to do while sitting down.
For older adults, balance training is a very important component in exercise regimes. Activities like backwards walking, sideways walking, heel walking and even tai chi can help prevent falls. Balance exercises can also be easily incorporated into everyday tasks, as they can be done anywhere and anytime.
Stretching exercises are meant to improve overall flexibility, leading to more freedom and mobility in older adults. Knowing how to stretch properly is critical, as improper stretching can lead to muscle and tissue damage. Joining a group class is a good idea to not only learn proper stretching techniques, but an opportunity to ask questions about other forms of exercise.
Remember to consult with your health care provider if you have arthritis, diabetes or heart conditions before exercising to find the right regime for you.
It’s easy to find the time to be active if you break up the time into 10-minute intervals. Trying different exercise activities is also great way to learn something new while meeting new friends.
To find out more about the different exercise programs available at Comox Valley Seniors Village, call 250-331-1183 or visit online.
To learn more about the exercise programs available at Casa Loma Seniors Village, call 250.897.1033 or visit online.