As we age, our body lets us know. Aches, pains, and feelings of lethargy are common ailments of the over 50 crowd. However, it is never too late to modify your behavior to improve your health and well-being.

If you are starting out anew on an exercise program, it is wise to work with your doctor or physical therapist to design a program that is best for you. No single set of exercises is applicable to all persons. The program you adopt should focus on your specific needs and concerns.

Arthritis, including joint pain and lack of flexibility, contribute to discomfort in millions of older Americans. The form and severity of arthritis, as well as other similar joint issues, dictates the type of exercises you perform. These exercises are broadly defined as (1) range-of-motion exercises which can be performed daily to relieve stiffness; (2) strengthening exercise, performed two to three times a week, which combine calisthenics, weights, and resistance training to build muscle to support and protect your joints; and (3) aerobic exercises, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, performed three to five times a week, to improve cardiovascular health and control weight.

In fact, low-impact exercises such as swimming often meet all three requirements above. Additionally, swimming is easy on the joints and rarely results in overheating.

David H. Stone, a doctor and member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, sums up the benefits of swimming for folks over 50 best, saying, “Low-impact swimming provides a total cardiovascular workout. Regular exercise strengthens the heart muscle, resulting in less effort [exerted] and a decrease in blood pressure.” Additionally, swimming decreases bad (LDL) cholesterol, while increasing the good (HDL) cholesterol.

If you are over 50 years of age, be sure to considering some of the joint and heart exercises outlined above.

Source: 50 Plus Senior News