Choose Safe Activities

Before you begin a program of exercise, make sure to check in with your doctor. Discuss the kinds of exercises you are planning to do and be sure you have his assurance that you will be safe. There are several questions you might want to ask your doctor:

In my case, is it ok for me to exercise?

What kinds of exercise will be the best for me?

Which kinds of exercises should I avoid?

Is it unsafe for me to do endurance exercises because of any of my medications?

Make sure you begin slowly, in particular if it has been a while since you have exercised. If you try to do too much too quickly you will risk injury.

While you are exercising, make sure to drink lots of fluids. You will be surprised by how quickly you can get dehydrated when you are sweating.

Make sure you have awareness of your body while you are exercising. It should never hurt to exercise and you should not feel excessively tired. It is ok to feel some discomfort, be a bit tired or feel a little sore but there should not be pain. If this happens, stop right away and go to your doctor. In addition, if you have any of the symptoms that follow, stop exercising immediately and get medical assistance:

You Have Shortness of Breath

Pain in the Chest

Feeling Dizzy or Faint

Racing, Fluttering or Skipping of Your Heart

Tingling or Numbness in Your Legs or Arms

What Do I Need To Do?

First, it is always to begin your exercise by doing an activity that is enjoyable for you. This will make it easier to stay with your exercise program because you will look forward to doing it. You should plan to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day or at least most days. If you are unable to exercise for 30 minutes without a break it is ok to exercise in 10 minute periods for 3 times every day.

You can choose from a wide variety of exercises. These are the steps to follow when picking an activity:

Step 1  Pick an activity where you will be breathing harder than normal. This is endurance exercising. When you do endurance exercises you will be able to build up your stamina and you will be adding to the energy you need to do your daily activities. What signs will tell you that you are exercising hard enough? If you are able to talk with no problem while exercising, the activity is most likely too easy. But if you are unable to talk at all when you are exercising, you are definitely working too hard. Some examples of these types of activities are bike riding, tennis, jogging and walking.

Step 2 You should also be doing strength training. As people age, they begin to lose muscle, up to 20 to 40 percent, and the strength that goes with it. That is because they do not do the daily activities that build muscle every day. By doing strength training, you will be keeping your bones strong and you will be helping your body avoid bone breaks because your bones are fragile. It is fairly easy to include strength exercises in your regular daily routine. For example, if you are walking go uphill or at least walk quite briskly. Always take the stairs if you have a choice. Go outside and rake the leaves. Instead of using power tools, use hand tools.

Step 3  Include exercises that help maintain your balance. You might stand first on one foot and then on the other without holding onto anything. Try to get up from sitting without using your arms or hands. Every once in a while walk heel-to-toe with the toes of the back foot almost touching the heel of the front foot.

Step 4 Always remember to stretch! This activity will not build up your endurance or your muscles but it will help you stay flexible and limber. There is no way to stop the process of aging, but you can keep yourself healthier as you age. There are many benefits to regular aging, so get started right away! Choose an activity that you will enjoy and see how great it can be to get older!