Blog posts of '2014' 'November'

Wright Now Fitness - The Benefits of Senior Exercise Monday, November 3, 2014

Aaron Wright's Tips on How and Why to Exercise As an Older Adult

Exercise is important for people of all ages and in particular can improve the quality of life for older adults.  Regular physical activity can help seniors continue to live independently as well as be healthy and reduce the affects of chronic disease.

There are a multitude of benefits to exercising as a senior adult.  These benefits may include and are not limited to the following:

  • reduced risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes
  • lower blood pressure
  • prevention and treatment of osteoporosis
  • more energy
  • less pain
  • improved outlook on life and self-esteem
  • less depression and anxiety
  • reduced risk of certain cancers including colon cancer
  • improved sleep and appetite
  • reduced risk of obesity
  • improved mental awareness
  • fewer falls and injuries
  • improved mobility

Tips for exercising as a senior:

  • For older adults, it takes longer to warm up before exercise and to cool down afterward, and it is less straining on the heart to do so.  It is advisable to warm up for 10-15 minutes before exercise and to cool down for 15 minutes after a workout.
  • Include flexibility training/stretching at least 2-3 times per week.
  • For cardiovascular training, start with 30 minutes of low-impact weight bearing exercise such as walking or an elliptical trainer.  This will help to prevent bone and muscle loss.
  • Include functional exercises that mimic everyday activities.  Examples of this include squats and lunges that are similar to standing up from a seated position or bending down to pick something up.  Additionally, upper body exercises strengthen the muscles used when trying to reach something high up on a shelf.
  • Maintaining good core stability and balance training are extremely valuable for fall prevention.
  • Aquatic fitness classes are a great and enjoyable exercise option!  Aquatic fitness is joint friendly and greatly aids in balance, strength, range of motion, and cardiovascular training.  Furthermore, it improves the activities of daily living and reduces body fat.
  • Strength training exercises are important, but remember to start with a low weight and slowly increase over time.

Special considerations:

Our bodies change as we age and there are some safety considerations to be made when embarking upon an exercise program.  It is important to modify an exercise environment to account for the following:

  • Vision changes can make it difficult to focus. 
  • Background noise can be a distraction.
  • The ability to perform two tasks at the same becomes more difficult.
  • Reduced stability and muscle weakness can make it easier to fall. 

Additionally, senior adults should make sure to drink plenty of fluid to avoid dehydration, especially while exercising.

I will see you at your next workout!

Aaron Wright

Look Younger. Feel Stronger. Live Longer.

Aaron Wright, creator of the Wright Now Fitness System, a comprehensive dvd and digital exercise system "for everyone", is an ACE certified personal trainer, orthopedic exercise specialist, functional training specialist, sports conditioning specialist, therapeutic exercise specialist, exercise programming expert, and health and wellness speaker.

NOTE:  Always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any exercise program.



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