Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does exercise help to control weight, it improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep and combats health conditions and diseases like high blood pressure. Staying active is just as important as you grow older as it is when you’re younger because research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for adults over 50.

Here are a few ways you can stay active after age 50:

1. Swimming

Swimming is a great sport at any age, but is an excellent for people to stay active as they get older. Swimming can support up to 90 percent of the body’s weight in water making it a sport that is great for people with disabilities, injuries or illnesses such as arthritis. Swimming can build endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.

2. Yoga

Yoga offers health benefits for the mind and the body. Yoga offers some of the same health benefits as other exercising techniques without putting high stress on the body. It can increase flexibility and range of motion. Practicing yoga is safe for those with osteoporosis and can be effective in preventing and slowing down bone density loss.

3. Walking

Whether it’s walking a fundraiser 5K or just around the block, there are serious health benefits. Walking can help to maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes and can improve balance and coordination. Walking requires no special equipment besides a good pair of running shoes. Even a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day can have health benefits. For those who get bored while they walk, they could walk with their children or grandchildren or even walk laps while they window shop at the mall or theme parks.

4. Bicycling

Bicycling has many health benefits. It is good for improving cardiovascular fitness, is great for toning muscles and can increase coordination. A 30-minute bike ride around the neighborhood or even to the grocery store can have a positive impact and create health benefits. Bicycling is a good muscle workout and can be as intense or as low-impact as a person desires.

5. Group Exercise

Group exercise is a way for people to be social and exercise at the same time. It also offers a safe and effectively designed workout, a consistent exercise schedule, an accountability factor and a workout that requires no prior exercise knowledge or experience. Group exercise also offers a way for participants to briefly participate in an exercise to see if they like it before committing to it. Classes range in difficulty and can be anything from a boot camp class to strength training to Pilates.

Whether you are an exercise veteran or are just getting into the exercise scene, be sure to take precautions to be safe while exercising.

Some tips to keep you safe while exercising include:

  • Get medical clearance from your doctor before starting a new exercise program
  • Consider health concerns such as diabetes or previous surgeries
  • Start slow, especially if you haven’t exercised in awhile
  • Commit to an exercise schedule
  • Recognize problems, stop exercising and contact your doctor if you feel dizzy, short of breath, experience pain or develop chest pains
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