Physical Activity and Aging

Physical activity and exercise are important for all ages, but as we age oftentimes our activity levels tend to decline. Staying physically active and participating in regular exercise can help you continue to do the things you love and stay independent as you age. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week (30 minutes most days of the week) and should perform muscle-strengthening exercises on 2 or more days each week. Regular physical activity and exercise can help us to maintain physical strength, improve balance, reduce feelings of depression, and help to prevent and manage diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.

So, what is the difference between physical activity and exercise? Both physical activity and exercise refer to the movements that we do that burn calories. Physical activities include things that we do in our day to day tasks such as gardening, walking the dog, and using the stairs. Exercise is when we participate in a structured activity such as weight training, yoga, or an aerobics class. Both are important for your health and help improve your endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.

Physical activity is a great way have fun, improve your health, and be social while gaining all the health benefits. The best way to be physically active it to make it part of your lifestyle. If you are interested in more ideas and information about physical activity and exercise contact Annie Sheldon at the UF/IFAS Extension Clay County at 904-284-6355.