We know it. We’ve heard it a million different ways. Active Boomers are healthier, happier and more satisfied than inactive Boomers. They are better equipped for healthy aging.
Boomers who exercise have more energy and less serious health problems. They have more stamina, more strength, more flexibility and more possibility for a life of gusto!
Boomers who actively move their bodies live longer and better than those who don't.
Even for those of us who have joint and muscle problems or physical hindrances, we can still be more active than we think. There are ways we can move our bodies or different parts of our bodies that would qualify as some kind of activity. Even a little activity is better than none at all.
Most health experts in the field agree that we’re never too old to begin an exercise regime regardless of what we’ve done in the past. Clinical trials have proven that even people over 90 improved their health and outlook by starting some form of exercise.
Strengthening exercises such as lifting weights, using weight machines and resistance bands and climbing stairs help to increase bone density, thus warding off osteoporosis, and build muscles. Our muscles weaken as we age and neglect them. But we need healthy, strong muscles to do even normal things like making the bed or vacuuming the house or carrying groceries. And we need them to keep our joints in good condition and to help us keep our balance and be less likely to fall.
Cardiovascular activities are important to keep our lungs and hearts working properly. Just about any kind of movement qualifies as cardiovascular - anything that gets our hearts beating faster increases the blood flow to our muscles and lungs. Even short walks every day help raise our heart rate for a bit. And we can slowly build up our walks to longer and faster with time. A pedometer or Fitbit is helpful to keep track of how many steps you take each day - people have been known to walk around their homes in circles just to increase their daily activity.
Balancing activities improve our control and prevent our risks of falling. Practice standing for a few minutes on one foot, rapidly getting up and down from a floor sitting position, sitting and rising from a chair without using the hands or walking a certain distance heel to toe. These all help increase our balance. Disciplines like Tai Chi and Yoga also help with balance.
Flexibility exercises help your movements be more fluid and easy and they support your ability to move more. Most stretches are better done after an exercise regime when the body is warmed up rather than before when the body is cold. Yoga is a great practice for improving flexibility.
As little as 2-3 hours a week will make a difference. That's less than 26 minutes a day. For more benefits, an hour a day of any kind of movement is a great goal.
But clearly, Boomers interested in a long life with plenty of gusto and energy need to do whatever it takes to become active Boomers.
It’s time to give up the inactive lifestyles and get moving!