As people age and face the challenges of growing older, many turn to fitness programs to stay healthy and active.
When people enter their fourth, fifth or sixth decade, their bodies lose some resiliency. A well-rounded exercise routine can help reduce injuries and the onset or frequency of conditions associated with aging, such as heart disease, Type II diabetes, osteoporosis and some neurological conditions.
A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
A fitness regime should include exercises that work on the cardiovascular system, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, balance or neuromuscular control, and proper nutrition.
It’s important to begin slowly and progress steadily. Exercise two to three times weekly at a minimum.
Strength training exercises should focus on the whole body. Lifting weights, pulling on resistance bands or using exercise machines, for example, can develop strength with proper use. Lift weights very slowly with proper form for best results.
Over the decades, joint flexibility usually begins decreasing due to the natural aging of soft tissue and posture position. While it’s important to spend a lot of time stretching, it does not have to be intensely painful. Hold stretches for 20 to 30 seconds or longer in a position that causes slight discomfort.
A GOOD BALANCE
Weakness from muscle loss can lead to balance problems, especially when changing positions too quickly or walking on uneven or unstable ground.
Balance problems lead to falls and injuries. Simple drills such as balancing on one leg with the eyes open and then closed can help the nervous system stay “in tune” with the musculoskeletal system....