Exercise for Seniors: Benefits and Safety Tips

For seniors, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind. Committing to a routine of physical activity is one of the healthiest decisions you can make. Before you get moving, though, consider these benefits of exercise and how get started safely

1. Benefits of exercise to seniors:

Physical health

Exercise helps older adults maintain or lose weight. As metabolism naturally slows with age, maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge. Exercise helps increase metabolism and builds muscle mass, helping to burn more calories. When your body reaches a healthy weight, your overall wellness will improve.

Exercise reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. Among the many benefits of exercise for adults over 50 include improved immune function, better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density, and better digestive functioning. People who exercise also have a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.

Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in adults over 50. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Mental health

Exercise improves your sleep. Poor sleep is not an inevitable consequence of aging and quality sleep is important for your overall health. Exercise often improves sleep, helping you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.

Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence. Endorphins produced by exercise can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Being active and feeling strong naturally helps you feel more self-confident and sure of yourself.

Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active, which can prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

2. How to start safely:

Committing to a routine of physical activity is one of the healthiest decisions you can make. Before you get moving, though, consider how best to be safe.

Get medical clearance from your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a preexisting condition. Ask if there are any activities you should avoid.

Consider health concerns. Keep in mind how your ongoing health problems affect your workouts. For example, diabetics may need to adjust the timing of medication and meal plans when setting an exercise schedule. Above all, if something feels wrong, such as sharp pain or unusual shortness of breath, simply stop. You may need to scale back or try another activity.

Start slow. If you haven’t been active in a while, it can be harmful to go “all out.” Instead, build up your exercise program little by little. Try spacing workouts in ten-minute increments twice a day. Or try just one class each week. Prevent crash-and-burn fatigue by warming up, cooling down, and keeping water handy.

Commit to an exercise schedule for at least 3 or 4 weeks so that it becomes habit, and force yourself to stick with it.

Stay motivated by focusing on short-term goals, such as improving your mood and energy levels and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve.

Recognize problems. Exercise should never hurt or make you feel lousy. Stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if you feel dizzy or short of breath, develop chest pain or pressure, break out in a cold sweat, or experience pain. Also stop if a joint is red, swollen, or tender to touch.

Choosing The Best Fitness Personal Trainer

Choosing the best fitness personal trainer is really just as important as choosing the best doctor, lawyer, or dentist. After all, this person is going to be playing a huge part in your health and fitness and they are going to be intimately involved in a very important part of your life and lifestyle. For those reasons and so many others, it is absolutely vital to choose the personal fitness trainer who is going to serve you in exactly the ways you want. The following article discusses some of the essential things to look for when picking a personal trainer.

To begin with, a trainer’s certification is the most important thing to look for, because a trainer has to be certified to properly serve a client’s needs. A potential trainer’s certification should come from an organization which offers nationally recognized certification.

Next, as the trainer you are considering for extensive references – that includes names and phone numbers – from other clients. Try to get references for people who have goals and needs which are similar to your own, to better understand how the trainer may or may not have helped the person you call.

Likewise crucial is knowing about a potential trainer’s insurance. A good trainer will have a good liability insurance policy and other business policies – in writing. This is exceptionally important because so many fitness personal trainers are classified as independent contractors.

Next, make sure that a potential trainer has the necessary qualifications, experience, and successful techniques to properly assist you with any special needs you may have or be looking for in the training experience. In general, personal trainers make potential clients provide a detailed history about their health, usually in the form of a questionnaire. Make sure that the trainer knows about any medical conditions or past injuries and make sure that he or she knows how to work with them.

Price is ever important, so always make sure you know what a potential fitness personal trainer is going to charge you for his or her service. Rates vary and are generally dependent on several factors, such as the trainer’s own experience, the length of the work out, and the location where the work out takes place (as some fitness personal trainers work out of a gym, while others come to the client’s home). In general, trainers who work out of a gym charge less.

Lastly, but perhaps most important, determine whether or not the trainer who meets all of these specifications and requirements is actually someone with whom you can have a good trainer/client relationship. Is the trainer accommodating? Will he or she properly motivate you? Are you comfortable with him or her? Does the trainer’s gender both you? Does he or she seem too mean, or perhaps too nice? Only after you have answered all of these questions – and made sure that the potential trainer meets all the aforementioned specifications – should you make a concrete choice for a fitness personal trainer.

When it comes to choosing a personal trainer, what you want and what you need matter the most, so never be afraid to ask questions or do research. Your health is worth it and any fitness personal trainer worth his or her weight in salt will enthusiastically and firmly agree.