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How Can Exercise Increase Quality of Life?

 

As we age, the importance of staying healthy becomes more and more acute. It is true that while getting older is most certainly something we cannot escape, we can choose to keep our bodies strong, and extend our quality of life by exercising. That does not necessarily mean intense physical training, but by staying limber and keeping our bodies mobile, the affects of aging can be greatly mitigated.

It is important to keep the type of exercise you are thinking to partake in manageable. Aging joints and organs do not have the same stamina as they did in our youth, and it is important to recognize that. Starting with a short walk and simple stretches are  great ways to ease into an exercise routine.

Before starting any exercise regiment, regardless of age, it is important to check with your doctor and let them know what kind of exercising you are planning to do. As we get older, our bodies are less capable of strenuous, high-intensity workouts, which could actually cause damage. Checking with a medical professional can also help to determine what kinds of exercises are appropriate for your age or condition. For some, running and other cardio activities might not be the best for them; for others, strength training and muscle building could be in order. Make your doctor a partner in fitness.

Start slow and aim for small improvements. If you have not lifted a weight or run a mile in a decade, it is unreasonable to expect it to be easy to get back to your previous level in short order. Take time and understand that getting back into form is attainable, just not immediate. Set goals that are reasonable and stick to them. In so doing, you can avoid getting discouraged by not experiencing the unrealistic expectations and abandoning your exercise regimen.

Finally, make exercise social. Sharing goals and having someone to help keep you on track will help to establish exercise as a habit. Making it social also helps to keep exercising from feeling like a chore. In so doing, it is easier to make exercise a part of your life, and become something to look forward to.

The older we get, the more important it becomes to take care of our bodies. Exercise can be an important part in maintaining health, flexibility and overall quality of life. In conjunction with medication and activities to keep the mind sharp, appropriate exercise can be a major part in staying younger longer, and living a fuller life.

About the author
Sandi Wake

CSA

CarePatrol of Western Michigan

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