(3 minute read)
Whether you enjoy it or not, exercise is unquestionably important. In fact, seniors need to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise a week. This type of exercise, also known as cardio, is that kind that gets your heart and lungs working hard for a sustained amount of time But these exercises still need to be easy on the knees, back, and other joints. You can still get a good workout as there are plenty of low-impact cardio workouts that will get your heart pumping.
Take a Relaxing Walk
Walking is a great gateway to other exercises, as it can help you slowly build strength over time. It’s also great because most people have some area to walk near to their home, whether it’s a park, a high school track, or around the local mall. Try to walk at least five days a week–starting at a slower pace and then working yourself up to 3 or 4 miles. The Mayo Clinic has a great guide to walking yourself to better health in 12 weeks.
Go for a Swim
The biggest barrier getting into this form of exercise is access to a pool. However, did you know there are 10.4 million private pools and 309 thousand public pools in the United States? You can call up a friend with a pool, head to a local YMCA, or check out the nearest lake for more options. Swimming is great for seniors for a lot of reasons: It’s great for your heart health, it puts very little strain on your joints, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. If you are a beginner, it might be a good idea to start with a class and then slowly build yourself up to swimming the recommended 30-minute intervals. Additionally, water aerobics are a good chance for aquatic workouts. These classes take place in a class lead at a local gym or senior center. It’s usually led by an instructor who guides you through each move. Think of it like those aerobics videos in the 80s and 90s–but in water. The fact that it takes place in a pool lessens the amount of stress put on your heart as well as your joints.
Enjoy the Versatility of Biking
Cycling is a great way to stay fit in your golden years. It can increase stamina as well as improve heart health while avoiding putting stress on your knees and hips. It can also be an exciting way to have an outdoor adventure or a relaxing way to spend some time catching up on TV shows at home. You can also take indoor cycling classes at your local gym geared towards seniors. Regardless, though, you should remember that no matter how you decide to enjoy a bike ride–it’s important to go at a comfortable pace.
No matter how you decide to exercise, finding something you enjoy is an important part of finding a good way to workout. Again, consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine so you have a better idea of what your limitation might be. With these exercises, you’ll be ready to go out and get on a path to a healthier you.
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