Today is National Senior Health and Fitness Day, an occasion to motivate older adults to focus on their well-being and to get moving. Jim Thurber, exercise specialist/personal fitness trainer, Parkview Senior Wellness Center, shares his guidelines for the four areas of movement our senior members of the community can utilize to keep feeling healthy, fit and capable.
Senior Guidelines for Physical Activity
Older adults need moderate-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days each week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes 3 days a week. (Moderate intensity is when you feel “warm and slightly out of breath, and vigorous is when you feel “out of breath and sweaty.”) Using a pedometer to count your daily steps is a good way to start an aerobic program. Many fitness experts recommend a daily goal of 10,000 steps.
Older adults will benefit from performing activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance for a minimum of 2 days each week. It is recommended that 8 – 10 exercises be performed on 2 or more nonconsecutive days per week using the major muscle groups. Using a rubber stretchy band as opposed to weights might be a better way to start a strength-building program, as they put less stress on arthritic joints.
To maintain the flexibility necessary for regular physical activity and daily life, older adults should perform activities that maintain or increase flexibility at least 3 days each week if not daily for at least 10 minutes each day. (Always warm up muscles and joints before stretching.) A yoga class can be a fun way to stretch.
To reduce the risk of injuries from falls, older adults should perform exercises that maintain or improve balance. Balancing on one leg than the other without holding on to anything with the arms is a good balancing exercise. Twenty seconds is a good goal to attain. Always perform this exercise next to a counter top or behind a sturdy chair.
We offer a range of fitness classes that encompass these areas of focus. Learn more at the Parkview Senior Wellness Center, Parkview Hospital Randallia, Carew St. Entrance (Door #4) ground floor level, or by calling (260) 373-7209.