Exercise is a key element in the process of staying healthy for people of all ages.

By: Hindy Cortright, for: The BioFit Center and Sports & Health Magazine.

Traditionally it was believed that exercise, of any kind, was mostly a «young’ population type of activity.  As people aged and especially among those older than 50, exercise was rarely considered to be a needed factor to promote health.  In the last 20 years, a great deal of research has shown that exercise is perhaps the most important element in preserving, not only physical health, but also mental health.

According to the latest’s research from the National Institute of Health (NIH) «Staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent and delay many diseases and disabilities, including dementia.»   Physical active, especially after age 50 can help increase circulation and oxygen in the blood. These two benefits are of extreme importance to maintain cardiovascular health, not only for the heart but also for brain function.

The NIH also reports that: » …even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of seniors who are frail, or who have a disease that accompany aging».  In other words, regular physical activity among older people, ages 70 and above, even if they have not exercised throughout their adult life, can bring significant health benefits.

The key to improving your health after age 50 through exercise

  • To practice moderation and the right type of exercises
  • To create a weekly exercise regimen where you may balance different types of activities.
  • To perform at least one hour of some type of physical activity every day. Each day can be a different «workout», for example: one day can only be walking for one hour; the next day can be performing one session of pilates or resistance training with a trainer and so on.
  • To find a qualified and experience trainer to workout with for many reasons, being safety is one of the main ones.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that active adults over age 65 follow these guidelines:

1. Do fairly intense aerobic exercise 30mins a day, 5 days a week or do energetically intense aerobic exercise 20mins a day, 3 days a week.

2. Do 8 to 10 strength training exercises, 10-15 repetitions of each exercise twice or three times per week.

3. If you are at risk of falling, perform balance exercises.

4. Have a physical activity plan. For healthy aging, both aerobic and muscle strengthening activity is vital.» *

Staying healthy after age 50 is simple. The first step is to make a conscious decision to create a weekly exercise regimen that you can follow, choose various types of activities for each day and balance out aerobic exercise (brisk walk, beginners dance class, biking) with resistance training sessions (these can be 30 minute sessions with a trainer.) Put aside one hour of your day to exercise and take of your health. It will pay back in many ways one of them being adding more years to your life