Get Active to Celebrate Older Americans Month
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things older adults can do for their health and independence. It can help prevent, delay, or manage many of the health problems that can come with age such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Regular physical activity can also help keep thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp. It can reduce the risk of depression and may help improve sleep. Some activities such as Tai Chi can help improve balance. If you are not getting regular physical activity, this month, designated as Older Americans Month by the Department of Health and Human Services, is a perfect time to start.
How Much and What Kinds of Physical Activity Do You Need?
Someone who is 65 years of age or older and generally fit can essentially follow the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.
For Important Health Benefits
Older adults need at least:
Jogging 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
Jogging 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
Walking jogging – an equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic activity and weight training muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
Older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week to improve health—aerobic (such as walking and water aerobics) and muscle-strengthening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides recommendations, resources, and strength training information specifically designed with older adults in mind on the agency’s Web site.
When older adults are not able to meet the guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity according to their specific abilities. A health care provider can help match physical activities to abilities. Remember, some physical activity is better than none and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. All adults should avoid inactivity.
Find out more about physical activity and health conditions by CLICKING HERE