You spent your thirties and forties trying to sort out your work/life balance. But suddenly you're in your fifties or sixties, and maintaining physical balance becomes a much more important consideration. Maybe you or someone you know has taken a spill on the stairs or an icy sidewalk. It only takes one balance scare to make you limit your activities and feel suddenly old.
Fitness Over 40
As the Baby Boom generation ages, one thing is certain: memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and related conditions will become the focus of a great deal of attention in American society. According to the Alzheimer's Association, 5.4 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease, and by 2050 as many as 16 million Americans are projected to have the disease.
Workout routines for seniors are on the minds of many Baby Boomers who are watching their parents getting older and less able to manage their activities of daily living. Although exercise can't turn back time, it is just about the best fountain of youth we have available.
One in every three adults over age 65 fall each year, and 20-30% of those falls will result in moderate to severe injuries. (Source: Centers for Disease Control) Many people who fall develop a fear of falling again that can limit their activity and mobility. To stay mobile and indpendent as you age, maintaining your balance is a must. If your balance is beginning to waver, check out these six steps to improve balance that can help you feel more stable and secure.
Senior exercise routines can dramatically improve a senior's health, happiness and independence. More and more controlled studies are finding that adding regular, moderate exercise to a senior's life can reduce the risk of disease and improve many markers of health and happiness.
Walking is a terrific exercise program for beginners because it is so easy to regulate your speed to keep your workout in a heart-rate zone that is safe and effective. It requires no athletic skill, no gear beyond a good pair of shoes, and unless you have an injury or disability, anyone can do it. Walking is also the queen of weight-bearing exercises, and helps your body continue to produce new bone tissue.
You've probably heard by now that physical inactivity is associated with an increase in risk for a wide range of illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers among others. Unfortunately, the rates of inactivity go up the older you get. According to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008 32.7%--almost a third--of adults 65 and over reported NO leisure-time physical activity within the prior month.
Why do people exercise? Well, once it's a habit, people exercise because it feels good, but a lot of people begin an exercise program because they want to lose weight. If you're overweight, losing even a few pounds is a good thing, but there are lots of other reasons to exercise. If you're a Baby Boomer or Senior (heck, even if you're a twentysomething), regular exercise offers many benefits that will improve the quality of your life.
You may have heard about functional fitness, a relatively new trend in fitness training, but you likely still have questions. Here’s a round-up of all the essential information you need to understand this fitness trend and determine if it’s a good choice for you.
Show of hands: who can no longer touch your toes? How about reaching back to zip up your dress? Low back pain, anyone? If this sounds like you, you could have a problem with decreased flexibility. Flexibility decreases naturally as we age because muscles, tendons and ligaments stiffen and lose elasticity, but you don't have to lose the ability to manage your daily activities. Maintaining and even improving your flexibility is possible at any age with just a few exercises done regularly.