A common issue for many aging adults is that they know they will benefit from an exercise program, but they are unsure of where to begin. As you move towards changing your lifestyle be sure to proceed with a good plan and to use caution to ensure a safe experience. Having a plan and being safe will help you maximize your experience and ultimately improve the quality of your life as you age.

It is wise to visit your doctor and determine if there are any physical activities to avoid as you embark on your new lifestyle. A pre-existing condition may affect what exercises you should focus on. Proceed slowly with your new program, building up your exercise gradually. Create a schedule that helps build healthy habits and stay focused on short-term goals such as improved moods.

To create a balanced and effective exercise program, focus on the four building blocks of senior fitness. Cardio endurance exercises use large muscle groups in motion over time. These exercises, such as walking, stair climbing, hiking, and tennis, increase your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the body over time.

The second focal point of an exercise program is strength training. Strength training builds muscle with weights or resistance. This type of work is especially beneficial to prevent loss of bone mass and improves balance, both important to aging adults.

Flexibility is another corner stone of exercising. Stretching and increased mobility will keep muscles and joints supple. This increased flexibility will reduce chronic pain and allow you to do more in your day-to-day life as well.

The final building block of senior fitness is balance, the ability to maintain stability under a variety of conditions. This is very important for seniors as improved balance and posture lead to improved confidence, more activity, and a reduction in the risk of falling. Exercises such as yoga and Tai Chi are excellent ways to improve balance.

To reap the benefits of exercise it is a good idea to create a plan that incorporates aspects of the four areas outlined above. Start slowing and do not rush for results. A gradual implementation will allow you to learn what feels good and what works for you without risking injury.

Source: Help Guide