The Importance of Exercise
for Healthy Aging

The importance of exercise for women and men, young and old cannot be overstated. It is the best thing we can do to improve physical and mental health. It relieves pain, increases our ability to think and function, and generally improves our state of mind.

For women over 50, exercise doesn't necessarily mean participating in an aerobics or Pilates class at the local health club (although they are terrific choices if that's what you like). The point is that there are many different types of exercise. Choose whatever is best for you. Walk, lift weights, garden, dance, water aerobics, yoga, bicycling, , rowing, golf, badminton, shuffleboard, tennis, ping-pong, bowl, swim, scuba dive... the list is endless. You can choose one type of activity or diversify.

Be sure of course to consult with your doctor before starting any fitness program.


Self motivation

Challenge yourself beyond the comfortable, sweat a little; it's good for your skin. The important thing is to participate in some kind of physical activity every day. If daily exercise is already a part of your life, that's fantastic, but maybe it's time to increase your activity by 5-10 minutes a day or diversify it.

Do you need friends around for motivation? Then talk to them and find out who's ready to get up of her or his behind and both of you start motivating each other.

Are you too busy? No such thing. That's just an excuse. Set your alarm a half hour earlier and participate in an early morning workout in front of your TV. There are dozens exercise programs on cable and local channels or buy/rent a DVD.

For more self motivation tips click here


Find the type of exercise that's right for you

If regular exercise is not part of your daily schedule, decide to do something, anything physical, twice a week for 15 minutes each time and gradually work your way up to five days a week, 30 minutes each time. Go at your own pace.

The importance of exercise increases with age, so no matter if you're 30, 50 or 80, male or female, everyone needs to be physically active. What you need to do is make a choice that is best for you. Find an activity that's fun, yet challenging. Below are a few questions that can help you choose a fitness program that's right for you:


  1. When during the day can I set aside a half hour for myself?
  2. Do I want to participate in a group activity, by myself, or with one or 2 friends?
  3. What activities should I limit or avoid because of injury, physical restrictions or handicap?
  4. What activities do I enjoy most?
  5. Where can I exercise?
  6. What activities are available in my community?
  7. Do I prefer a set routine or do I want diversification?

Allow your answers to help you come up with a program that: you will enjoy, challenges you, fits your schedule, and will keep you motivated to continue.




A note about stretching exercises: A very important and critical part of any physical activity is stretching. Let's face it, no matter how fit we might be, we are more prone to injury then we once were. Stretching exercises are a vital part of any exercise program. Be sure to stretch before and after any activity to avoid injury and improve muscle and joint flexibility.



Bicycle riding is a fun way to achieve cardio fitness that you can enjoy at any age. Check out www.bicycle-riding-for-boomers.com/fitness for some great information to help you get started and keep you riding safely.



For more on the importance of exercise read The Benefits of Exercise

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