You're Never Too Old to Benefit from Exercise
Hebrew SeniorLife has been a long-time champion of exercise for older adults. In the early 1990s researchers in our Institute for Aging Research discovered the benefits of weight training for even the oldest old. Hebrew Rehabilitation Center residents took part in an Institute study that examined whether progressive weight training could combat or reverse muscle weakness experienced by adults as they age. This muscle weakness can contribute to functional decline and put many seniors at risk for falls. The study proved that even the "oldest old" could build muscle strength with exercise.
Following the study, exercise programs were developed and institutionalized at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center; and today, Hebrew SeniorLife offers exercise programs to all residents within its continuum of care, as well as to seniors from surrounding communities through our Get Up & Go program.
Whether you choose to exercise through a formal program like Get Up & Go, with friends or on your own, the important thing is to keep moving! Experts at Hebrew SeniorLife offer the following tips to keep you on track.
Shape Up Your Fitness Routine
The best exercise is something you will do on a regular basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 percent of American adults do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits. Exercise experts at Hebrew SeniorLife recommend exercising four to six times a week for at least 30 minutes to help reduce the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and obesity. Discuss exercise options with your doctor before you begin a fitness program - you don't want to overdo it, especially if you've been inactive.
Sticking with It
Try these techniques to make exercise something you'll want to do often, and prepare to enjoy greater strength and flexibility when you celebrate another birthday.
- Make sure you like it. Exercise should make you feel good and suit your lifestyle. You may enjoy reading while riding a stationary bicycle, or swimming may be easier on arthritic joints.
- Choose the right time of day. Don't work out right after eating or when it's too hot or cold outside. Find a time that fits your schedule, perhaps first thing in the morning or on your way home after work.
- Keep a record. Write "I exercised!" on a calendar. This visual sense of accomplishment can help you make exercise a regular event.
- Try something new. If you get bored with one exercise, try a new way of moving your body. The key is to stay active.
Exercise should not be painful, so if something hurts, stop and consult your doctor.