Exercise Even During the Golden Years

Are you over 60? Could you be healthier, more energetic, and even stronger? No matter what your age is, it’s never too late to start exercising.

You may have already noticed with the passing of each year, one or more of the following changes that come with age:

Increased body fat
Bone and muscle loss
Higher blood pressure
Less elasticity in the connective tissue
Thinning cartilage in knees and elbows
Slowed reflexes
Lower glucose levels
Diminished lung capacity
You can combat the effects of aging.

The secret weapon? Exercise. Which is no secret weapon at all. Just less than 35 percent of Americans over 65 exercise on any regular basis. What a shame!

A consistent, regular exercise program increases muscular fitness and bone density, improves stamina and strength, enhances posture, improves balance and coordination and heightens self-esteem. And that’s not all. It also increases the ability to perform everyday activities like carrying grocery bags, gardening and working around the house.

Simply by picking up a pair of dumbbells or using weight machines at least twice a week, you can rev your metabolism, reduce the layers of fat on your body and improve your fitness. No matter what your age, developing strong, well-toned muscles will keep your circulation high, draw in more oxygen and burn more calories around the clock.

Can’t get to the gym or think buying home equipment is too expensive? Not so. There are plenty of exercises you can do right in your home to strengthen your body. For example, push-ups, squats, climbing stairs, ab crunches, lifting cans or jugs are all easy home exercises.

Don’t know what to do? Throughout this web site, you can find articles and illustrations that show you how to strengthen your muscles. But know that building and maintaining muscle tone leads to better balance, coordination and overall health – all through your life.

So whether you’re a man or a woman, the benefits of regular exercise and strength training are many:

Increases bone-density in postmenopausal women and prevents bone fractures in women with osteoporosis.
Improves the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis and increases range of motion as well as aiding in weight loss.
Helps alleviate stiff knees and, aches and pains in the joints.
Helps maintain vitality.
Reduces blood pressure and heart rate.
Improves sleep.
Burns more calories even after you exercise.
Keeps blood glucose levels low.
Helps relieve depression.
Reduces stress.
So how do you get started? Consult your doctor first. Then, with the go-ahead, start walking, swimming, biking or hiking for aerobic exercise.

For strength training, start with light weights and perform an exercise for each major muscle group. Perform 10 – 15 repetitions. As you get stronger, increase your weights by 5%.

Now, start exercising for a stronger, healthier body. After all, it is never too late.