How to Stay Active While You Age

Exercise is not a young person’s game. There’s no age limit on being active, just how you do it.

In 2017, around 6 million middle-aged people in the UK admitted to not engaging in suitable exercise. This way of life can have severe consequences for your health.

Your body needs extra care as you age, which is why exercise is so important. Keep reading to find out more.

So, why bother?

Exercise is vital for a healthy life. It’s proven to help reduce the risks of:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Dementia
  • And even some forms of cancer!

However, it’s not all physical benefits. There are also countless benefits for your mental health. Exercising releases endorphins which boost your mood, combating depression and stress. Plus, it also helps you to feel confident, doing wonders for your self-esteem.

The power of exercise can change your life for the better. But, it’s important to note that while it can reduce the risk of these health problems, it can’t erase them. While you dedicate time to being active, you should also make the same effort to see your doctor regularly. By doing so, you’re guaranteed to give your body the best care it needs. If you’re struggling to stay in contact with your doctor, consider private healthcare insurance, so you’ve always got access to appointments.

What kind of activity?

Everyone is different with their own likes, dislikes, and needs. Luckily there are countless activities to choose from, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Aerobic exercise

Activities that fall into this category specifically target your cardiovascular health (heart), more commonly known as cardio. This includes:

  • Running or jogging
  • Brisk walking
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Dancing
  • Taking the stairs

Muscle building

Building muscle at any age is beneficial. It can improve your balance, reduce your risk of falls, and elevate pain. Activities that build muscle include:

  • Bodyweight exercises (such as pushups, squats, lunges)
  • Weight training
  • Resistance band movement
  • Gardening

Flexibility exercises

Maintaining flexibility throughout your life is incredibly valuable. It can help prevent injuries, improve posture, and make everyday life easier. Activities to improve flexibility include:

  • Daily stretches
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Using a foam roller

These activities can be done by yourself, with a group of friends, or in a class – whatever suits you best. You should never settle for an activity that makes you groan and roll your eyes – this will only encourage you to give up. Instead, find an activity that you actively look forward to.

How often?

How much and how often you exercise can depend on several factors. Your age and velocity of the activity will dictate how much time is required to benefit your health.

Adults should get 150 – 300 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Types of moderate exercise include leisurely walking, cycling, light jogging, or swimming. If you take part in more energetic activities, such as high energy running, hiking, dancing or strength training, you only need 75 – 150 minutes of exercise per week. In addition to this, you should also spend two days per week focusing on your muscles for added health benefits.

However, don’t be disheartened if you can’t manage this straight away. Everyone has their own requirements and limitations, so take your time to build your exercise regime. Plus, it takes time to build a habit, so allow for time to adjust to your new activity. 

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