Make Exercise a Goal for 2023
February 2023 Newsletter
Exercise is important for people of all ages, but especially for those over 50 years old. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and/or help you manage them. It can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Additionally, exercise can help maintain muscle mass and strength, improve flexibility and balance, and reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Exercise can also have a positive impact on mental health, helping to reduce stress and anxiety and
improve overall mood. Overall, regular exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
1. Aerobic exercise: Walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing are great ways to improve cardiovascular health and increase endurance. Check out the city senior activity classes for ideas.
2. Strength training: Lifting weights, using resistance bands, or doing body weight exercises can help build muscle mass, improve balance, and reduce the risk of falls. Consider joining a program such as our E-4 Life… Guided one on one exercising.
3. Yoga: A low-impact exercise can improve flexibility, balance, and stability while also reducing stress and tension. (Try restorative yoga – Bridge Yoga).
4. Tai Chi: This slow and gentle exercise is a great form of physical activity for those with limited mobility and is helpful for improving balance and reducing the risk of falls (classes at Bridge yoga).
5. Water aerobics: This low-impact exercise is gentle on the joints and provides a full-body workout that can help improve cardiovascular health and flexibility. (TAMU has classes)
When exercising at any age, It is important to consider your heart rate when exercising. Heart rate can help indicate the intensity of exercise and whether you are working within a safe and effective training zone. For older adults, it is recommended to exercise at a moderate intensity, which is generally defined as a heart rate of 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. This can help reduce the risk of injury and improve cardiovascular health, while also promoting weight loss and improving overall fitness.
However, it's important to keep in mind that heart rate is just one factor to consider and should be used in conjunction with other indicators, such as perceived exertion, to determine the appropriate level of exercise intensity. It's also important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine an individual's safe and effective training zone, especially if they have any pre-existing medical conditions.
There are several ways to measure heart rate, including:
1. Manual pulse check: To take your heart rate manually, place your index and middle fingers on the inside of your wrist or the side of your neck, near the carotid artery. Count the number of beats you feel in 10 seconds and then multiply by 6 to get your beats per minute.
2. Wearable technology: Many fitness trackers, smartwatches, and other wearable devices come equipped with heart rate sensors that can measure heart rate throughout the day.
Other things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and effective workout:
1. Start slow: Older adults who are new to exercise or who haven't been active for a while should start slowly and gradually increase intensity and duration over time.
2. Warm up: Always warm up for 5-10 minutes before starting any exercise to prepare your muscles and reduce the risk of injury.
3. Hydration: Staying hydrated is important for overall health and can help reduce the risk of dehydration, which can be particularly dangerous for older adults.
4. Listen to your body: Pay attention to any physical discomfort or pain, and stop the exercise if necessary. If you experience any persistent pain, it is recommended to seek medical advice.
5. Consider your medical history: If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or arthritis, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine. Talk to your physical therapist.
6. Focus on balance: As we age, our balance can become less stable, so it's important to incorporate exercises that improve balance, (i.e, yoga, tai chi, or stability ball exercises), in your workout routine.
7. Gradually increase intensity: Gradually increasing the intensity of your exercise routine over time can help you reach your fitness goals without putting excessive stress on your body.
8. If uncertain about your condition, consider E-4 Life, one on one exercise help with a physical therapy technician under the guidance of a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
You should stop exercising if you experience any of the following:
1. Chest pain: If you feel any discomfort or tightness in your chest, stop exercising immediately and seek medical attention.
2. Shortness of breath: If you become extremely short of breath and can't catch your breath, stop exercising and rest.
3. Dizziness or light-headedness: If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or unsteady, stop exercising and rest until you feel better.
4. Muscle pain or joint pain: If you experience persistent pain in your muscles or joints, it's important to stop exercising and seek medical advice.
5. Nausea or headache: If you feel nauseous or develop a headache during or after exercise, stop exercising and rest.
6. Excessive fatigue: If you feel extremely tired or fatigued, it's best to stop exercising and rest.
In general, if you feel unwell or experience any unusual symptoms during or after exercise, it's best to stop and seek medical advice. It's also a good idea to listen to your body and stop exercising if you feel too tired or if you're pushing yourself too hard. Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workout over time can help you reach your fitness goals while minimizing the risk of injury.
How much is enough exercise?
The American Heart Association recommends @ 3 hours of exercise a week. This could include aerobic, stretching, balance, etc. You can of course do more!