Skip to main content

Exercise As You Age

Exercise can offset normal aging of the heart making it a better pump, even for those who begin simple exercise (like walking) at age 60 or 70. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Many older people think they are too old or frail to exercise. Nothing could be further from the truth. Physical activity of any kind is good for you. It brings weight loss, appetite control, less joint pain, improved mood and self-esteem, an energy kick, and longer life by decreasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, depression, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, and other chronic disabilities.

Even with all those positive factors, 70 percent of older adults remain inactive. The latest research indicates moderate exercise for 30 minutes or more a day can reap hefty rewards. Walking up stairs, dancing, carrying out the trash, bowling, golf, gardening, cleaning, hiking, shopping, vacuuming, making the bed and mowing the lawn will all increase our overall health. It's never too late to start, even if you have never exercised. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start by seeing your doctor.
  • Stretch for flexibility.
  • Be aware of signs that you may be overexerting yourself.
  • Schedule time for recovery.
  • Start slow and build on it.
  • Include weight training at least twice a week to help counteract muscle loss due to aging.

Stronger arms and legs will help you carry grocery bags, get out of the tub or car and avoid falls. Being fit helps you remain independent and improves the quality of your life.

The Dutchess County OFA Exercise Program has sites all over the county. Contact our office for more information on the one nearest you, either by emailing or calling 845-486-2555.

Start your exercise program today! The longer you put it off, the less likely you will ever begin. You can start by getting up and going for a walk right now!