SF: It’s Never Too Late for Fitness

Not Active? Don’t worry, it’s Never too late for fitness!  

You are already active? Fantastic! It’s vitally important to Keep Active as You Age. And if you aren’t active, don’t worry, it’s never too late for fitness and health. You can begin exercising at any age. But, check with your doctor before beginning an exercise routine. Not all exercises are right for everyone, so take it slowly and stick with it. The important tip is to decide what to do, then do it.

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.

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.

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 from.

What Exercise Will Do For You

  1. Balance exercises. These exercises can help prevent falls, which are a major health risk for older adults.
  2. Endurance exercises. These include exercises such as 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.
  3. Strength exercises. These include lifting weights or using resistance bands. They can increase muscle strength to help with activities such as carrying groceries or lifting grandchildren.
  4. Flexibility or Stretching exercises. These can give you more freedom of movement. That means you’ll be able to bend to tie your shoes or look 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. This is key to doing the everyday things they want to do.”

Visit NIH for additional information

To help you get started, 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.”

In Summary, Get the Go4Life 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.


Check out our exercise pages for Seniors >> Senior Fitness Exercises, for printable exercises.  Don’t see your favorite exercise? Tell us about it and we’ll format them for print and publish for you.

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If you are looking for fitness equipment to get you started, check out our fitness page and shop our >> Store for Fitness where we’ve selected some of the best fitness gear  for you.

Thank you for visiting with us. Wishing you the very best of health!

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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