Tips for Staying Active as You Get Older

older woman staying acticve on the beach

Physical activity is good for people of all ages

Staying active can help:

  • Lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer
  • Improve your strength and balance so you can prevent injuries and stay independent
  • Improve your mood
  • Feel better about yourself
  • Improve your ability to think, learn, and make decisions

Before you start…

If you have a health problem — like heart disease, diabetes, or obesity — talk to your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you.

Aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.

  • If you weren’t physically active before, start slowly. Even 5 minutes of physical activity has health benefits, and you can build up to more over time!
  • Choose activities that get your heart beating faster — like walking fast, dancing, swimming, or raking leaves.
  • Tell your doctor if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, or unplanned weight loss.

Do muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week.

  • Try using exercise bands or lifting hand weights. You can also use bottles of water or cans of food as weights.
  • Breathe out as you lift the weight, and breathe in as you lower it. Don’t hold your breath — holding your breath can cause unsafe changes in your blood pressure.

Do balance exercises.

  • Practice standing on 1 foot — you can hold onto a chair if you’re feeling unsteady.
  • Walk backwards or sideways.
  • Learn tai chi, a mind-body exercise that improves balance.
  • Sign up for a yoga class or try out a yoga video at home.

Related Article

Sage Aging ElderCare Guide
Author: Sage Aging ElderCare Guide

Sage Aging ElderCare Guide was created to lead families to good information on senior living and care choices. You will find educational articles, videos, podcasts, worksheets and searchable provider directories on this website to help you make quality decisions. Feel free to contact us at info@ElderCareGuide.com or call us at 863-802-5043 if you need additional assistance.