As an older adult or the caregiver of one, you may be wondering how much exercise is required to maintain certain aspects of health, such as weight, flexibility, or balance.
Maintaining your health throughout your life can impact all areas of wellness, but how much exercise is needed to maintain senior health? The Springs at Simpsonville in Simpsonville, South Carolina, wants to help answer this question and provide different exercise methods and tips to keep older adults active and healthy!
Recommended Physical Activity for Those 65+
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults 65 years and older complete at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise every week.
To maintain senior health, focus on aerobic or cardio exercises that improve your stamina, strength, and reduce health risks. Walking, jogging, biking, dancing, and swimming can strengthen your heart and lung function. Aerobic exercises have also been linked to:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease
For older adults, aerobic activity should be performed in increments of at least 10 minutes. For additional senior health benefits, increase moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, complete 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical exercise per week, or an equivalent combination of the two.
The Springs at Simpsonville understands that every person is unique in their health needs and abilities. Those with limited mobility should perform physical activity at least three [or more] days per week to enhance balance and prevent falls. Even if you cannot meet the recommended requirements, an individual should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
Benefits of Recommended Physical Activity
According to WHO, “strong evidence demonstrates that compared to less active men and women, older adults who are physically active have lower rates of… coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer, a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, healthier body mass and composition… exhibit higher levels of functional health, a lower risk of falling, and better cognitive function.”
Exercises to Maintain Balance
Balance exercises can help maintain senior health by improving strength and reducing the chances of a fall.
“The first step of resistance training should focus on core and balance exercises, according to the American Council on Exercise. As you get stronger and become able to perform more intense exercises, balance training can give you an aerobic workout that even helps control blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure along with other aerobic exercise (WebMD).”
There are no real measures of time for doing these exercises, as they can be done every day, but it’s important to go at your own pace. The best part about balance exercises is that you don’t need equipment to get started! Use your own body to practice balance; however, a chair can be used to provide additional assistance as you get comfortable and build strength.
Exercises to Maintain Flexibility
When it comes to senior health, flexibility exercises can help:
- Reduce injuries
- Allow for a better range of movement
- Release muscle tension and soreness
- Promote relaxation, physically and mentally
Yoga is one of the best ways to help improve flexibility, as certain poses are easy to do and don’t place much tension or stress on your body. Another great flexibility exercise that can be done as a pre or post-workout is stretching. Stretching helps reduce the chances of injuries related to exercise while being an easy and effective way to maintain your flexibility.
Maintaining Your Health & Happiness
Maintaining our health, especially as we age, is important, and meeting the recommended amount of physical activity each week can improve overall wellness and create a healthier, happier retirement life.
The Springs at Simpsonville understands the importance of senior health and maintaining your flexibility, balance, and overall fitness. Our community is built in the heart of historic Simpsonville, South Carolina, and encourages residents and guests to get active! To learn more about The Springs at Simpsonville, we invite you to contact our experts or schedule a tour of our community!