Roberta O'Brien - Health & Fitness.
Roberta O'Brien - Health & Fitness. Sophie Moeller

Seniors need to exercise to maintain energy

I RECENTLY visited Caroona Kalina Nursing Home and bumped into the beautiful Jenny Dowell who was busily putting on her tap shoes to demonstrate to a room full of senior residents that even while sitting in a chair you can still enjoy the experience of moving to music.

No matter what your age, or ability, sometimes it just takes a little imagination and courage to try something different.

Not all illness or pain is avoidable, but many of the physical challenges associated with aging can be overcome, or at least diminished, by exercising, eating right, and taking care of yourself.

Even if you don't start exercising until your senior years, you can still add extra years to your life and, more importantly, add life to your years.

You may struggle with weight or pain issues, or you may worry about falling and injuring yourself. But it is for these very reasons that an active lifestyle is even more important to your health and well-being. As you age, exercise can help you:

  • maintain strength and agility
  • increase vitality
  • improve sleep
  • boost mental health
  • diminish chronic pain
  • prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia.

Regular exercise will help you not only look better when you exercise, you'll feel sharper, more energetic, and experience a greater sense of well-being.

What to do?

Check with your doctor to see if any health conditions or medications you take affect the type of exercise you should choose.

Choose an activity you like and that will keep you motivated. You may like to exercise in a group like aqua aerobics or you may prefer solo exercise like swimming.

Start slowly, especially if you are new to exercise. Slowly increase the time and intensity to avoid potential injury.

Start with the basics like walking. Walking is one of the best ways to stay fit, and you don't need any fancy equipment, clothing or money - just time.

Exercise with a friend or family member to keep each motivated, accountable and social.

There are lots of activities this week that you can join in as we celebrate Seniors Week across the state...an aqua class, stretching, dancing, swimming - do it with a friend and have a laugh.

No amount of botox would ever replace your roadmap of years of laughter lines.


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