Here are some tips for staying active in your senior years.
- Choose activities you find interesting and manageable. You are more likely to stick to an exercise routine if it’s fun.
- Check with your doctor before you start a new exercise routine. Some activities may not be appropriate if you have been sedentary for a long time or suffer from obesity or a chronic illness.
- Start slowly and aim for small improvements. Be guided by your doctor about how long and how frequently to exercise. Keep track of your progress in a training diary for added motivation.
- Make exercise a social event. Invite friends along or sign up for a class so you can meet new people while getting fit.
- Improve your flexibility. Suggestions include yoga, stretching exercises, lawn bowls or dancing.
- Build muscle tissue with strength training. For example, you could lift weights or perform a modified form of calisthenics.
- Look after your bones. Weight-bearing exercise can reduce your risk of bone loss and osteoporosis as you age.
- Improve your heart and lung fitness. Opt for moderate intensity exercise for maximum benefit. As a general rule, aim for activity that means you breathe hard but are not left feeling breathless.
- Reduce your risk of falls. Include some balance and coordination exercises in your weekly exercise routine. Good options include tai chi, balancing on one leg and heel to toe stands.
- Build exercise into your daily routine. Walk to the shops or bus, spend more time in the garden or offer to walk a neighbour’s dog.
Note: Always stop and seek medical advice if you experience chest pain, extreme breathlessness or dizziness.
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