Health im­proves with phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity

The Compass - - OPINION -

If you’re 65 years or older there is a very im­por­tant ques­tion you should be ask­ing your­self: “Am I get­ting enough ex­er­cise?”

Enough means at least two-and-a-half hours of aer­o­bic ac­tiv­ity ev­ery week, spread out over pe­ri­ods of 10 min­utes or more. Mus­cle strength­en­ing ex­er­cises are also rec­om­mended for a more com­plete work­out, one that will help se­niors main­tain phys­i­cal au­ton­omy for long as pos­si­ble.

Vary­ing the type of ex­er­cise and do­ing some on a daily ba­sis will help you grad­u­ally build up to the rec­om­mended 150 min­utes of aer­o­bic ac­tiv­ity. A walk one day, a dance class an­other, and you’ll soon reach your tar­get.

The aim is to ex­er­cise ev­ery chance you get. Use your bike to go to the shop­ping cen­tre, take the stairs rather than use the el­e­va­tor,

as and get off the bus or stop your taxi a few streets be­fore your des­ti­na­tion. Start slowly then lis­ten to your body as you grad­u­ally in­crease the in­ten­sity of the ex­er­cise.

Adding a so­cial el­e­ment to your phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity will in­crease your en­joy­ment and help you stay mo­ti­vated. Join a walk­ing club, regis­ter for some group classes given lo­cally, or go for walks with friends or fam­ily mem­bers.

If you suf­fer from health prob­lems, be sure to con­sult your doc­tor be­fore es­tab­lish­ing a per­son­al­ized work­out rou­tine.

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