This past week, we’ve given you several health tips–from how to improve your posture, to the benefits of exercise, and the health risks associated with inactivity. To round off the week, we’re going to talk about four areas of fitness that will help you maintain (or even increase) the quality of your life.
Before you begin
Before starting any kind of regular exercise routine, make sure that you are taking the proper steps to stay safe in order to maximize the benefits of exercise.
- Ask your doctor if you are fit enough to commit to a regular routine and ask if there are any activities you should avoid.
- Think about any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or heart problems and factor those into your routine.
- Take small steps to make sure you are easing yourself into your routine. Overworking yourself wonâ€™t make you healthier faster. If anything, it can harm you.
- Make up a routine and set up short-term goals to help you gauge your progress, as well as help boost your self-esteem and help you feel like you accomplishing something.
- Most importantly, pay attention to your body. If you experience any pain, shortness of breath, or feel dizzy, stop what you are doing and consult your doctor to help you re-evaluate your routine.
Endurance (Aerobic) exercises
Cardio exercises help to increase your breathing and heart rate, which in turn helps to lessen fatigue and improve the health of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Overall, cardio helps promote independence and improves endurance for ADLs.
Exercises include: walking, dancing, swimming, stair climbing, cycling, and tennis.
Strength training helps to increase/maintain muscle and bone mass. It also improves balance, which helps to prevent falls. Its benefits include a reduction in body fat, better stability, and helps with daily activities such as lifting objects and other household chores (e.g. getting groceries, opening jars, getting in and out of cars).
Exercises include: lifting weights (free weights or machine), and using a resistance band.
Flexibility exercises increase your range of movement, allowing you to perform everyday activities such as bending over to tie your shoes, getting into a bathtub, playing with your grandchildren, and looking back while driving.
Exercises include: stretching and yoga.
Balance exercises are important because they help maintain your stability and improve balance, posture, and proper weight shifting (very important for preventing falls), which in turn makes it easier for you to walk.
Exercises include: Tai Chi, as well as the exercise tips we mentioned here.
It’s never too late to start exercising. Regardless of how old you (or your parents) are, staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential to improving all facets of your life–mental and physical–and keeping you independent and happy.
If you don’t know where to start, try giving Encompass a call. We are always happy to help.
Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!
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