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Great exercise tips for the over 60's

The NHS recommends that men and women over the age of 60 should be squeezing in around 150 minutes of aerobic activity, such as walking, swimming, or cycling each week, along with at least two sessions of strength exercises to work the muscles. Unfortunately, however, as we age, this is often easier said than done! Reduced bone density, loss of balance, and restricted movement are all natural parts of the ageing process, so how can the over 60’s ensure they maintain a healthy, active lifestyle?

The Best Type of Exercise for Older People

There is a lot of information out there about the best types of activity for older people, but unfortunately these often fail to take into account the needs and requirements of older men and women. Gardening and dancing are regularly cited as good activities for the over 60’s, for example, but those with restricted movement or conditions such as arthritis may find these exercises too painful, and could even get hurt.

Instead, why not look at some alternative exercises? Chair exercises are simple, can be taken at your own pace, and really can have a significant effect on both short and long term health. Slow and gentle stair climbing is also a very good option, with research showing this can boost leg power in older people.

If you’re thinking of taking up an activity, here’s some great advice:

  • Visit your doctor to ensure you’re well enough to begin a new activity or exercise
  • Dress in loose clothing, but not so loose that it could increase the risk of falls or trips
  • Start slow and don’t push yourself beyond your limits or capabilities
  • Stay well hydrated as you exercise, and prepare a small, protein-filled snack for afterwards

Why Exercise?

Exercise is actually very important for all of us, regardless of our age, but for older people especially regular activity can help to minimise the risk of disease and reduce the risk of falling. However, if you don’t feel that you’re able to complete 150 minutes of exercise per week, don’t panic! It’s important not to push yourself beyond your limits; even small amounts of activity can be beneficial. In fact, the experts at the American Heart Association claim that just one minute of activity is great!

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