SF: It’s Never Too Late and You’re Never Too Old

Not Active? It’s never too late!  

You are already active? Fantastic! It’s vitally important to Keep Active as You Age.

Man Exercising We’ve all heard that exercise is good for you but did you know that it’s as true for older people as it is for any age group? You’re never too old to get moving, get stronger and improve your health.
Fitting exercise and physical activity into your day can enhance your life in so many ways. Regular physical activity can improve your balance and boost or maintain your strength and fitness. It may also improve your mood and help you manage or lessen the impact of conditions like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and depression.

Physical Activity Rates

Despite these proven benefits, exercise and physical activity rates among older people are surprisingly low. Only about 30% of people ages 45 to 64 say they engage in regular leisure-time physical activity. This falls to 25% of those between the ages of 65 and 74 and 11% of people age 85 and older.

What different types of exercise are there?

Experts recommend 4 types of exercise for older adults: balance, endurancestrength and flexibility. In Fact, the Professionals Health Connection Logo PHC Logowas designed to represent these exercise types – BEFS – Balance, Endurance, Flexibility and Strength Fit each of these exercise types in weekly and you’ll have lots of exercise options to choose.

What Exercise Will Do For You

Brisk walking, dancing and other endurance exercises improve the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system. These exercises can make it easier for you to mow the lawn, climb stairs and do other daily activities. Strength exercises include lifting weights or using resistance bands. They can increase muscle strength to help with activities such as carrying groceries or lifting grandchildren. Balance exercises can help prevent falls—a major health risk for older adults. Stretching, or flexibility exercises, can give you more freedom of movement for bending to tie your shoes or looking over your shoulder as you back out of the driveway.

“Even if you haven’t been active previously, it’s important to get started and stay active,” says Dr. Richard J. Hodes, director of NIH’s National Institute on Aging. “We know that people want to live independently for as long as they possibly can. By exercising regularly and including more physical activity in their daily routine, older people can preserve their physical function, which is key to doing the everyday things they want to do.”

Visit NIH for additional information

To help you get started and keep moving, NIH brought together some of the nation’s leading experts on aging, exercise and motivation. They developed a guide to exercise for older adults. The guide serves as the basis for a new national exercise and physical activity campaign for people ages 50 and older. It’s called Go4Life.

“Older adults can exercise safely, even those who have physical limitations,” Hodes says. “Go4Life is based on studies showing the benefits of exercise and physical activity for older people, including those with chronic health conditions.”

Get their free book

Go4Life exercises are designed to be done safely at home without special equipment or clothing. The free book Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging is the core resource for the campaign. Other free materials, such as an exercise DVD and tip sheets, are also available. Workout to Goa mini exercise guide, shows you how you can be active anytime, anywhere.

To learn more, visit the Go4Life website. You’ll find exercises, success stories and tips to help you stay motivated. Or call 1-800-222-2225, or e-mail   niaic@nia.nih.gov.

Thank you for visiting with us and letting us share this article from NIH with you!

Check out our exercise pages for Seniors >> Senior Fitness Exercises, for printable exercises.  Let us know what type of exercises you are interested in – we’ll format them for print too.

Wishing you the very best of health!

PS. If you are looking for some fitness gear – check out our fitness page and shop our >> eStore for Fitness, we’ve selected some of the best fitness gear in the eShop (nothing but fitness), without the shopping hassle for you, but unfortunately, Amazon is discontinuing this soon so check it out soon!!

Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

2 thoughts

  1. Thanks for following my blog, which is much appreciated.
    I manage to walk around 6-7 miles a day with my dog, seven days a week, every week.
    That’s about all the exercise I get, but I never miss.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks very much for visiting Pete, I too greatly appreciate your visit! Walking cannot be overrated – Kudos to you for taking long walks every day, that is excellent…

      If you can, try to add a few stretches before and after. Dynamic stretches before (short stretch) and static stretches after (stretch and hold) – do that for a few days and let me know if you notice a difference. 6-7 miles is a nice long walk – your dog must be crazy about you!

      PS. Take a look at Dynamic Stretches – pick a few, print them out and then write on the back when you do them and how long. Just try a few days to see if it makes a difference. And all you need are the dynamic stretches, to make them static, just hold for 10-20 seconds and viola! they are static. :) Thanks again for joining us BeetleyPete!

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