Everybody needs a bit of exercise. It has been scientifically proven, over and over, that somewhat strenuous movement can lead to all sorts of different benefits for your overall health. Benefits ranging from improved cardiovascular health to improved hormonal profiles and cholesterol levels, to decreased levels of body fat, and increased muscle mass. But the question that some people have is the following: do all people have the exact same needs regarding exercise? The answer is a resounding no – different people will do well to follow different exercise regimes. Some might need to do a bit more in order to experience the benefits – others might need to do less.
But if there’s one category of people where there’s a controversy regarding exercise and physical activity, it’s the elderly people. A lot of people feel that the elderly people are really frail, and if they overexert themselves – it may be the last thing that they do in their lives. While this is an oversimplification – there is still some truth in the matter.
So, how can you go about exercising if you’re a senior person? On one hand, it will do you no good to try to preserve your body and don’t move at all. On the other hand, there’s the danger of overexerting your body. How to get around this issue?
First of all, you really need to estimate what are your current conditioning and strength levels. There are people that have dedicated their lives to the science of exercise and fitness, and some of them even specialize in exercise for the senior citizens. You’ll do well to ask some of these people on an overall assessment of your conditioning. But in the end – nothing will replace your personal opinion – if you feel like you can move a bit more – then you know best. If you feel like you need to slow down, by all means, do so. Just be sure not to get too carried away in any direction.
And there are many different exercises that you could be doing as a senior citizen. You can try out the classic and all-time favorite of many people – walking. If you walk for 20 minutes at a brisk pace, three to four times a week, then this may very well be all that you need in order to retain and improve your health. Climbing stairs, doing gentle calisthenics, and even swimming, are all excellent options. Make your choice and stay healthy!