Fitness In Your Golden Years

Fitness In Our Sunset Years

For some odd reason, we tend to focus less on fitness as we get older, somehow believing that fitness only works for the young.  Quite the contrary, remaining fit even into your sunset years is a worthy goal, and one that is easily achievable. In fact, becoming passive or lackadaisical about fitness can cause an increased chance for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or stroke, all of which can adversely affect your quality of life for an extended period, if not permanently.  By taking steps to remain fit, you can remain independent for a much longer period of time, and be able to do the things you always wanted, such as travel, spend time with the grandkids, or even start a new career.

For starters, you need to cut out all of the unnecessary risks in your life, such as smoking, physical inactivity, excess weight, high cholesterol, and other factors that can hamper your fitness goals.

As we grow older, the need for proper fitness becomes even more important.

It is recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians that elderly people engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, or biking, at least a few days out of every week. Lifting weights or engaging in weight bearing exercises are also advised, aslong with proper warm ups and cool downs with every exercise session.

Other, more everyday household chores such as gardening, yard work, housework, or even dancing can produce long term health benefits.  Aerobic exercise helps cardiovascular fitness as well as making the hear stronger (the heart is after all, a muscle, and one that should be exercised).

Wellness is another part of fitness that must not be ignored, and this includes vision, hearing, mental and emotional health, as well as neurological health. This would involve organization and memory skills, using a spreadsheet  to keep track of your personal wellness on a monthly basis. You can read, do crossword puzzles, learn a musical instrument, or take different routes to get to your destination. Volunteering for charities or other organizations is a great way to improve your memory skills.

Fitness For The Elderly

It is not at all uncommon for elderly people to experience loneliness, depression, and anxiety along with other overwhelming difficulties that can inhibit the ability to maximize wellness.  If you feel any kind of long term sadness, feelings of hopelessness, or other rapid changes in mood or personality, you need to consult with your physician.  Depression can interfere with other aspects of health and wellness.  Having a good support system can prevent isolation and any of the concerns or fears that so often accompany aging.

As with any fitness regimen, consult with your doctor before taking on any new fitness activity or goal, making sure that you are in sufficiently good shape to achieve your short term goals. Doing too much too quickly could have results that would best be described as “unfortunate”.

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