Seniors stay active by engaging in aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercises each week, in addition to muscle-strengthening exercises for two or more days every week.
Health professionals advise that it is better to spread out the exercise program throughout the week rather than doing it all at the same time. For instance, it is advisable to perform moderate or vigorous exercises for at least 10 minutes at a time throughout the day, depending on schedule. For even more health benefits, seniors can engage in five hours of moderate-intensive exercises or two and a half hours of vigorous intensity exercises, in addition to muscle-strengthening exercises.
Before beginning exercise programs, older adults should consult health care providers to help them develop activity plans to ensure optimum health benefits and safety. It is also advisable to start with low-intensity exercises and progress gradually to allow for muscle adaptation. Other important considerations include opting for fun activities, wearing protective clothing while engaging in exercise, finding an exercise companion and staying hydrated. Regular exercise prevents bone loss, increases muscle strength and slows the progression of chronic diseases in older adults.