Staying physically active is a key part of optimal aging. Ideally all adults would be physically active (getting our heart rate up or ever breaking a sweat) at least 30 minutes 5 times a week. But the good news is you just have to move, and any kind of activity will benefit your health! Here are some ideas to help you increase your physical activity level.
Just move: Many health problems are associated with sitting for long periods of time. By getting up and moving, you can improve your heart, bone and brain health and increase longevity.
- Walk: Regular walking can improve and protect your mood, reduce anxiety, increase longevity, and decrease the risk of dementia as you age.
- Do more of what you normally do: Daily activities such as errands, getting groceries, household chores, gardening and walking the dog can all add to your level of physical activity, and keep you independent and strong for the long term.
- Join your local fitness of community centre: Conditioning programs are great for improving your cardiovascular fitness, but they also improve self-image, energy, and maintain cognitive health. A personal fitness assessment is really helpful at any age to work on what's best for your health.
- Try something new: There are many activities out there that may be just right for you. Yoga, tai chi and qi gong are some examples of mind-body exercises that can improve your quality of sleep and energy levels and may be available at a local community centre or online.
- Practice balancing: Activities that improve your co-ordination and balance can decrease your risk of falls. The better your balance, the more likely you are to stay independent over the long term.
- Talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner: Learn what activities are best for you by having a chat with your primary care provider. Also check out a useful online resource: http://exerciseismedicinecanada.ca