It’s no secret that keeping physically active helps people to live longer, healthier lives. Exercise offers a long list of health benefits that include increased cardiovascular health, better balance and flexibility, and increased mental well-being. The key to staying physically active is to keep consistent and make sure that you are moving as much as possible, every single day.
Certain types of exercise concentrate on different areas of fitness and can be placed in four different categories: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Depending on the exercise, it can overlap into multiple categories. For example, a strength exercise that asks you to use your own body weight as resistance may also help to improve balance. Focusing on an activity schedule that includes all four areas of activity will help your body stay healthier overall as you age. It’s important to note that anyone starting a new exercise regimen may want to consult with their doctor or a fitness coach to determine the proper exercises and level of activity.
Endurance activities, also called aerobic activities, increase your breathing and heart rate. Not only do endurance activities strengthen your heart and lungs, but they also make everyday activities seem easier. It is a healthy endurance that allows a person to walk to the mailbox or go up and down the stairs without getting winded. Endurance exercise can include many things we do regularly but need to raise the heart rate and respiration to be effective. Examples of endurance exercises include walking and jogging, playing a sport, dancing, swimming, and even yard work.
Strength exercises make your muscles stronger and more powerful. For older adults, strength can help them to stay more independent for longer. A person who is stronger is more likely to be able to do daily activities on their own without a struggle. In addition, strength protects the body from injury. Strength exercises include weight lifting, body weight exercises, and resistance exercises.
As we age our balance can begin to be negatively affected. Unfortunately, falls are a major cause of injury and older adults and many of those falls have to do with a lack of balance. The only way to prevent this is to actively work to improve balance, along with overall strength. Balance exercises tend to overlap with strength exercises and many lower body strength exercises are often used to improve balance. Some balance exercise to lower your risk of falling are standing on one foot, certain yoga poses, and tai chi.
Flexibility exercises help keep your body moving and limber so that you are better able to perform your daily routine. Something as simple as putting on your own socks is related to your overall flexibility. It helps you maintain freedom of movement and decreases overall discomfort. Flexibility exercises include stretching, forward bend, and certain yoga poses.
Ideally, your workout routine should include all four types of exercise to keep your body well-rounded and healthy. That doesn’t mean you have to do every exercise every day but staying active and engaging in regular workouts will help you to live a longer, healthier life. Here at the Manors, we offer a wide variety of physical and mental activities to improve our residents’ overall wellbeing and quality of life.