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What are the best cardiovascular exercises for seniors over 65?

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Quick Answer

Brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling and dancing performed for at least 10 minutes each session, at a moderate or vigorous intensity level, are cardiovascular exercises suggested for those over age 65 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Muscle-strengthening activities at least twice per week are also recommended.

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What are the best cardiovascular exercises for seniors over 65?
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Full Answer

The minimum amount of weekly aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise required for health benefits in adults over 65 is 150 minutes at moderate intensity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On two or more days per week, exercises that work the major muscle groups, such as the arms, legs, chest, shoulders and abdomen, should be performed. Equal benefits are found in exercises performed at a vigorous, high-intensity level for only 75 minutes per week. Individuals may also combine moderate and vigorous aerobic exercise to receive the same effect. Exercising in excess of the weekly baseline recommendations, performing up to 300 minutes of moderate or 150 minutes of vigorous activities, yields even greater health benefits.

Good exercise choices to help those over 65 retain muscle strength include working with resistance bands, weight lifting and yoga. The exertion used in gardening tasks, such as shoveling, digging and pushing a lawn mower, is also helpful, states the CDC. Push-ups, sit-ups, and other movements that encourage the body to use its own weight as resistance are also recommended muscle-strengthening exercises.

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