In these cold grey days of our San Francisco summer, it is easy to want to just curl up under the warmth of a cozy throw. But there is another way to keep warm, which will also keep you well, fit and independent: exercise!
According to the National Institute on Aging, staying physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities, including dementia. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of seniors.
They go on to list four kinds of exercise which are important:
- Strength exercise builds muscles and increases your metabolism, which helps to keep your weight and blood sugar in check.
- Balance exercise builds leg muscles, and this helps to prevent falls. According to the NIH, of the 300,000 hospital admissions for broken hips each year, many of them are seniors, and falling is often the cause.
- Stretching exercise can give you more freedom of movement, which will allow you to be more active, assist with the discomfort of aching muscles and help with arthritis.
- Endurance exercise is any activity—walking, jogging, swimming or biking, that increases your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time.
Be sure to start easy, doing no more than you are comfortable with, then you can build up slowly.
For more information on exercises, go to http://seniorliving.about.com/od/basicexerciseseries/4_Basic_Senior_Exer...
And always be sure to check with you doctor before starting any exercise program so that you are sure you will not cause yourself injury or pain.