Whatever your age, being physically active helps you reduce risk for several cancers, type-2 diabetes and heart disease. In fact, staying strong and limber becomes even more important with aging. Check out these simple tips to build movement into your daily routine.
For cancer prevention, AICR recommends being moderately active at least 30 minutes every day. U.S. government guidelines say adults – including those over 65 – should also do muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days a week to boost balance and strength.
- Improves balance
- Reduces risk of falls
- Helps maintain muscle mass
- Strengthens bones
If you aren’t active, start with simple activities like walking or beginner’s yoga to get your heart beating a little faster. If you’re at risk for falling, try trekking poles or other walking sticks to improve your stability and balance. Strengthen your muscles and bone with easy resistance moves at least two days a week.
- Walk for 5-10 minutes today, adding 1 minute every day this week
- Take a break from sitting every hour by getting up to stretch and walk for a minute
- Try one of these 2-minute strength-building videos for an anytime activity break
Once you’ve gradually built up your endurance, meet your 30-plus minutes of activity by doing it all at one time or doing small chunks more often. Try adding light weights to your strength training routine.
- Break up your active time by doing 10 minutes of brisk walking at least three times during the day
- Head to the gym or rec center for hands-on instruction on using weight machines and other fitness tools.
The trick to moving more for life is to find joy in your chosen activities. Keep things interesting by experimenting with new ways to stay active.
- Sign up for a swim or dance class; having a set time and place in your calendar will help hold you accountable
- Keep it up, with an eye to establishing an active lifestyle for the long-term. Don’t push yourself to the point of pain or injury, and keep the focus on activity as fun, not punishment. 30 to 60 minutes of movement a day promotes good health and lowers your risk for chronic disease.
Adding activity can also improve your quality of life if you’re already living with a chronic condition. If you have concerns, always discuss appropriate activities with your health care provider.