How much exercise do seniors need?
Being physically active at any age offers great support for brain health, managing weight, strengthening muscles and bones, expanding our ‘health-span’ not just our ‘life-span’. As we get older, regular physical activity is one of the most important things we can do for overall health and wellness. It can delay and may even prevent some of the health-related problems we encounter as we age.
When we keep our body moving, whether it’s through exercise classes or simply by walking, dancing or swimming, our muscles grow stronger, we stay more flexible, and improve our sense of balance (reducing the risk of falls), making it easier to attend to our day-to-day activities, delaying or even reducing dependency on others. Exercises that engage the brain by having to remember a sequence of movements or steps (Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Yoga, dancing) are in addition very beneficial for stimulating focus and memory. Regular physical activity can help keep us thinking, learning, and sharpen our judgment skills as we age. It can also help reduce depression and anxiety and is a wonderful tool to support better sleep.
So how much exercise do older adults need?
The CDC recommends that adults aged 65 and older need:
- At least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running.
- At least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.
- Plus activities to improve balance, such as standing on one foot.
If chronic conditions affect your ability to meet these recommendations, be as physically active as your abilities and conditions allow. Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none at all. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.
Even though we all know that staying active is important, we can sometimes lack motivation or the needed consistency of daily and weekly exercise regimens. That’s where working with professionals can make a big difference. Here at Cabot Cove of Largo we offer a regular exercise classes and fun activities, creating a wellness-oriented environment for our senior residents that makes exercise and movement fun and easily accessible. Please contact us if you like to speak with one of our advisors or to schedule a tour.