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When starting an exercise program, seniors should seek an array of workouts. Just like a balanced diet from the basic food groups, exercise best promotes good health and independent living when it consists of a variety of activities. Here are some general exercise guidelines for seniors:
- Consult a physician before beginning an exercise program.
- Aerobic activities such as walking, bicycling, swimming, dancing and other low-impact aerobic activities are good options for seniors and can improve heart and lung health and help manage weight.
- Seniors should try to work out up to 30 minutes a day most days of the week. For those with arthritis, low- to no-impact exercise such as water aerobics, swimming, elliptical trainer and stationary bicycle may be best.
- Flexibility and agility exercises such as stretching, yoga and tai chi can increase range of motion and improve balance, which helps prevent falls.
- Yoga classes also offer relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, improving overall cardiac fitness, blood pressure and the immune system.
For suggestions on adopting an exercise program, read the National Institute on Aging’s exercise guide.