It’s a simple fact: as start to get older, we simply aren’t as active as we once were in our younger days. That’s unfortunate though. Staying active is vital to staying healthy and in turn, vital if we want to remain independent for as long as possible.
“Exercise is important for almost everyone.” says Dr. Keith Veselik of the Loyola University Health System. He said he even will write it out in a prescription for patients to try to make them see the importance of exercise and the connection it has to their health. Maybe more doctors should write out prescriptions for exercise. People need to start understanding that taking care of your body is just as powerful as medication once something goes wrong.
Of course, staying active isn’t always as easy as you get older. But Dr. Veselik has plenty of tips for older generations to be able to get in some exercise…
If Join Pain is a Problem
Joint pain and muscle aches increase dramatically once you hit your 50’s. He recommends to try cardiovascular exercises that get your heart pumping without putting too much strain on your joints. If you used to be an avid runner, that may not be the best choice anymore. That doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the same routes, though. Try a bicycle. That’s much easier on your joints than running. Even better is swimming, which works the majority of your muscles in a gentle way and gets your heart racing. This is a great way to get exercise if you suffer from arthritis.
If you insist on running though, please just make sure you have good running shoes that provide plenty of cushion and support.
If you get your rate up with cardiovascular exercise regularly, you can greatly reduce the chances of developing serious health problems like asthma and heart disease. However, if you haven’t been exercising for a while and want to get started, talk to your doctor first. They can help you develop a safe plan to get you active while reducing the risk of injury.
If Back Pain is a Problem
If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid joint and muscle pain, there’s still a good chance you will start experiencing back pain. If that’s the case, he says you should focus on strengthening your core muscles. Of course, always make sure you life heavy objects properly – with your legs and by not bending over and using your back to stand up and lift.
- Include weight-bearing exercises in your routine. This will help you minimize the risk of osteoporosis by keeping your bones nice, strong and healthy.
- Include exercises that strengthen your legs and improve your balance. This will help you stay flexible, balanced and minimize the risk of potentially dangerous falls.
- Exercise not only keeps you healthy and helps prevent heart disease and such, but it can also reduce pain from arthritis and might even help prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.