Leading a healthy lifestyle and staying active is important for all ages. This is especially true for elderly people concerned about remaining independent. The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine created physical exercise guidelines to help the elderly exercise safely. Here’s some recommendations for a safe healthy routine from the guidelines, but be sure to always consult your physician before undertaking an exercise program.
When engaging in moderate exercise, aim for 30 to 60 minutes per-day. Split your workout into 10-minute blocks if you prefer shorter sessions. In total, an elderly person should exercise at least 5 days a week for at least 150 minutes per week.
Moderate activity may cause a noticeable increase in your heart rate and breathing but you should have the ability to hold a conversation. Moderate activity may also cause you to break a sweat.
Suggested Physical Exercise
Walking, biking, swimming, light jogging, dancing, and using a treadmill are great endurance activities. Consider aquatic exercises if you have knee or hip problems. Again, ask your physician which is best for you. Your Help at Home caregiver can help keep you active as well, with transportation to a pool, going for walks, or encouraging simple exercise while at home.
At least two days a week of strength training helps maintain bone density and prevent muscle loss. Dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls. and kettlebells can be purchased for home use. A strength training guide or personal trainer can provide details on specific exercises.
You may have limitations that hinder your ability to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. But senior health is important, so do what you can. If you need help getting started, speak with your healthcare provider or a personal trainer to see what exercises are safe for you.