In our “Let’s Keep Moving!” series, we’re looking at different types of physical activities and how they can benefit our health. Today, we wrap up what we’ve covered in previous posts and hit some other key notes..
We know that exercise is important for all ages. It helps us improve our physical and mental health, and lead more active lives.
Almost anyone at any age can do some type of physical activity. For many older adults, walking, riding a bike, and swimming are safe if you build up slowly. Make sure you are exercising safely by following these tips:
- Start slowly especially if you have not been active for a long time
- Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. This can change your blood pressure.
- Use safety equipment such as wearing a helmet for bike riding, the correct shows for walking or jogging.
- Unless your doctor has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to drink plenty of water when you are doing the activities.
- Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist.
- Warm up your muscles before you stretch. Try walking and light arm pumping before you begin.
- Identify your starting point; think about a typical day and how much time you spend sitting and how much time are you active? What types of activities do you enjoy?
- Set a goal; consider both a long term goal and short term goals. Goals are useful when they are specific and important to you. Think about starting an exercise log to help you keep track of your exercise routine so that you will know if you are meeting your goals.
Talk to your health care provider; share your goals and exercise routine with your health care provider before you begin. Ask your provider if there are any exercises you should avoid or include into your routine.
Remember, exercise should not cause pain or make you feel tired. There are so many ways to stay active. So, choose activities you enjoy and stick to your routine, whether you do them at home, in the park, at a gym, or wherever.
Just find the things you like to do, so that you can get moving!