Keep It Movin’: Best Exercises For Older Adults

African American older adults swimmingFinding ways to get exercise as you get older is a smart and easy way to stay fit and improve your health. Exercise is just as important in your older years as when you were younger.

Research shows that an exercise routine offers a wealth of health benefits. One study found that adults ages 75 and older who exercised lived longer than older adults who didn’t exercise. Another study discovered that older women who squeezed in resistance, or strength, training workouts each week improved their cognitive function.

It’s also well known that regular exercise can help to boost heart health, maintain a healthy body weight, keep joints flexible and healthy, and improve balance to reduce falls.

Exercise does not take as much time as you may think. For general health benefits, older adults need about 2½ hours of aerobic (walking, running, and other activities that get the heart pumping faster) activity per week. These activities should be combined with activities that strengthen muscles at least 2 days per week.

Joining a gym and making use of the machines, trainers, and classes is one way to exercise. But you can also have fun there, meet new people, and do a variety of different activities that keep you healthy and strong.

Easy ways to exercise

Exercise actually comes in many forms, including activities that feel more like fun than hard work:

Dance. Sign up for a dance class with your spouse or a friend or carve out some dance time at home.

Go bowling. Join a bowling league or make a weekly date with some of your friends. If you have grandchildren, bring them along.