You're never too old to increase your level of physical activity and exercise! Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition's progression once it starts, reports a Mayo Clinic study published in October 2011 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Also, according to a new study in the journal, Circulation, people in their 60’s and 70’s who regularly engaged in physical activity, such as walking, had the healthiest hearts.
“Modest physical activity, such as the distance and pace of walking, is important for the heart’s electrical wellbeing of older adults,” states Luisa Soares-Miranda, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the Faculty of Sport at the University of Porto in Portugal who led the new research. “In our study, older adults who increased their walking pace or distance had a better heart rate variability when compared with those that decreased their walking pace or distance. Heart rate variability is a sign of a healthy heart that can respond readily to changing demands and is often used as a measure of fitness for adults of any age.”Are you overwhelmed by how to begin an exercise routine? Maintaining physical fitness can be easy – and fun!
· Include your grandchildren in your new active lifestyle. Play catch or walk to the playground and push your grandkids on the swings.
· Have a pet? Taking your four-legged companion on a brisk walk is a fun way to increase your heart rate and improve circulation.
· Do you think you’d get bored taking a walk? Listen to your favorite songs and get motivated to walk an extra lap around the neighborhood.
· Exercise is always more fun with a friend. Invite a companion to take a stroll with you to view the spring blossoms.
· Be mindful of spring showers. If the sidewalk is wet, take extra precaution when walking. Slippery sidewalks could boost your likelihood of a fall. If you do go for a walk in the rain, consider taking your cell phone with you in case of an emergency.
Regular exercise – especially walking - is beneficial for people of all ages. Exercise helps to improve muscle and joint flexibility and keeps your heart healthy. It also can improve sleep and helps to maintain a healthy weight.To learn more about Fitness for Health’s customized fitness programs for senior citizens, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.
Do you have additional tips to share re: senior fitness? I'd love to hear from you.