It is so important to stay healthy and active as we age. In addition to consuming healthy whole food plant based nutrition, there’s no doubt or shortage of research on the benefits of movement and exercise to encourage strong bones & muscles, improve cardiovascular health and even cognitive function. Exercise can also reduce the risk of falls and injuries as we get older. But even if you’re not in perfect shape, you need to just START (after consulting your healthcare provider, of course and under the supervision of a certified trainer to be sure you have great form and are doing appropriate exercises). You’ll be surprised how quickly you can adapt to a new healthier lifestyle once you figure out what type of activities work best for you!
It’s never too late to start; however, there is an advantage to starting early to encourage healthy aging. What you do now determines how you’ll live a decade from now.
exercises for healthy aging
- Low impact activities (Swimming, yoga, Pilates, walking, recumbent bike)
- Group activities that incorporate the social aspect may increase your likelihood to participate & not skip. A few possibilities: pickle ball, tennis, golf, walking group – just make sure you don’t allow yourself to feel pressured to push harder than you should.
- Resistance training: It’s so important to stay STRONG and avoid sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss)
- Look for opportunities to increase general activity: studies have shown that staying more active throughout the day, providing our bodies the opportunity to increase the heart rate which improves cardiovascular health. Consider taking the stairs or the longer route to the bathroom at work, parking far away at the grocery, walking to chat with someone instead of sending an email.
- Brain/body training: Activities that require some level of balance, agility, hand-eye coordination are great as well – again ask your healthcare provider for suggestions that are appropriate to your current ability & progress from there.