National Senior Health and Fitness Day is an annual health and fitness event promoting the importance of consistent physical activity in seniors. Staying active is very important as you age in order to stay healthy and sustain your independence. Exercise Specialist Chad Stanton with the Weight Loss & Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute, shares why seniors should try to follow a steady exercise regimen.
Many people experience a change in fundamental functions as they grow older. “Loss of muscle strength, balance and flexibility are some of the biggest concerns for seniors,” said Stanton. “Muscle strength and flexibility are vital components in daily living activities such as putting on and tying your shoes. They also aid in maintaining a healthy body weight, boosting your self-esteem and helping you sleep better.”
Keeping your muscles strong supports different parts of your body. “Muscular strength helps prevent loss of bone mass and improves your balance, reducing your risk of falling,” explained Stanton. “That, along with balance and coordination exercise, can help reduce falls that could result in serious injuries and complications.”
Here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you live a longer, happier and healthier life.
- Start slow and work your way up: Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard when beginning a new exercise plan. A minimum of 30 minutes of activity is sufficient when starting a new routine.
- Use a chair: You can use a chair to help with balance exercises. Our Silver Sneakers classes are a great way to meet new people and have fun while getting in a good workout.
- Water workouts: Water workouts are a great way to avoid excess strain on your joints. If you have knee, ankle or hip issues, water based exercise classes would benefit you greatly.
- Yoga: Yoga is a fantastic way to increase your flexibility and gain strength as you work your way through poses and breathing exercises.
As always, make sure you consult your primary care physician before starting a new exercise routine and remember to listen to your body!
To learn more about the Weight Loss and Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute, please visit oklahomaheart.com/wlwc or call 918-579-3444.