It's no secret that physical activity is beneficial to our health, but for older adults, the advantages are even more significant. While the government recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and two strength training sessions per week, you don't have to meet these exact targets to reap the rewards. Studies indicate that even a modest 11 minutes of exercise per day (totalling 75 minutes a week) can lead to improved health and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer.
Walking is an easy way to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine. Increasing your daily steps by just 500 to 1,000 can make a significant difference. For older adults, the magical 10,000 steps a day isn't a requirement for better health. In fact, for those aged 60 and over, the benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease or premature death start to plateau between 6,000 and 8,000 steps daily.
If you're up for a challenge, incorporating some vigorous exercise into your routine can have remarkable health benefits. A recent 2022 study discovered that just 15 minutes a week of vigorous activity like jogging or hiking was linked to a 16 to 18 percent lower risk of overall mortality. Furthermore, 20 minutes was associated with a 40 percent decrease in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
When it comes to strength training, even one session a week can be highly beneficial if you put in the effort. Strength workouts not only help in building and maintaining muscle power but also boost mental health and improve overall health in ways similar to aerobic exercise. So, consider incorporating strength exercises into your life, whether through one or two weekly 20-minute sessions or several shorter ones. Remember to target your lower body, core, and arms for a comprehensive workout.
While it's entirely possible to stay fit without attending formal classes, they can be a great way to stay motivated. This can be particularly beneficial for older adults who don't already have a fitness regimen. If you're interested, look for instructors experienced in working with older adults. For example, our Personal Trainer service at the best Mackay gym, Warrior The Centre, is experienced in catering to the unique needs of older adults.
There are also several online resources available. Silver Sneakers, for instance, provides a range of classes including strength and yoga both online and in person at gyms, local community centres, and parks. These classes are even covered by some Medicare plans.
YMCA's EnhanceFitness classes offer a mix of arthritis-appropriate cardiovascular, strength, balance, and flexibility training. Sedentary older adults with joint pain may find Fit & Strong classes at local community centres beneficial. Other resources include local senior centres and exercise videos from the National Institute on Aging.
In conclusion, regular exercise offers a myriad of health benefits for older adults, from reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease to boosting mental health. Whether you prefer walking, strength training, or attending Women's fitness classes Mackay, the key is to find an activity you enjoy and make it a part of your routine. Remember, every step counts towards a healthier, happier you.