Though your bones may not be as sprightly as they were when you were younger, keeping a healthy, active lifestyle is still one of the best things that you can do in terms of overall physical and mental health. That's because, as we age, our bodies become more susceptible to the aches, pains and illnesses that we would have shaken off without a thought in our younger days. By maintaining a sense of active living, you can give your body a helping hand and help stave off many health problems that can occur in senior citizens.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults should aim to fit in around 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week (such as a hearty walk), on top of muscle strengthening activities that will give your body an all-round workout. Try to focus on each of the main muscle groups: arms, chest, shoulders, abdomen, back, hips and legs).
Now, 2.5 hours a week might sound like a pretty lengthy amount of time to spend gallivanting around in your fitness clothes, but, when you stop and think, it really isn't. You don't have to do it all at once – if you did, you could well be in training to run the Newcastle half-marathon! Instead, break it down into more manageable, bite-size pieces – two sessions of ten minutes per day is absolutely fine. The only thing that you should really remember is that one of those ten-minute sessions should be performed at a moderate or vigorous pace.
There are two different types of physical activity you should be undertaking:
Cardiovascular exercise is what gets your heart pounding and your lungs working harder, and includes such activities as jogging, cycling and even dancing!
This largely refers to the lifting of weights to add power to the muscles. You don't even have own a set of weights or join a gym to get your fill of strength training – simple exercises such as press-ups and sit-ups use the body's weight as the resistance to work against – these classic motions are collectively known as 'bodyweight' training.