Exercises that will keep you fit as age advances

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Physical exercise should not be avoided as age advances as it offers an excellent solution to weakening of muscles and body organs, age-related diseases, poor sleep and problems related to digestion.

Types of exercise

There are three types of exercises that a senior citizen can engage in. Of them, walking by swinging the hands gently is ideal for beginners. The following are other exercises:

• Stretching which moves the muscles and joints. It includes folding the hands and legs and releasing them.

• Resistance exercises like raising small weights to strengthen muscles.

• Endurance exercises to improve the functioning of the heart. Treadmill is an example.

Senior citizens may remember these tips while engaging in exercise:

• People with knee and hip problems need to walk along a flat surface. If there is difficulty to walk outdoors, treadmill can be used. Yoga, which stimulates the mind and body, can also be practiced.

• If there is an issue of balance of the body, start exercising by sitting on a chair. When moving around, use a walking stick and protective hip pads. Those reluctant to engage in exercise can try to include physical activity in their day-to-day chores. For instance, walk to the shop.

When to do the exercise

Engage in physical exercise only after proper motion in the morning. Avoid exercising after having food. Drink plenty of water before and after exercise as water and minerals in the body would be lost owing to the activity. This could lead to muscle cramps and fainting.

Never drink tea or coffee after an exercise session. Instead of carrying out the same exercise every day, try different types. However, a 5-10 minute warm-up is necessary before any exercise. This could be walking at a slow pace or stretching. After the main exercise, cool down exercise should be done.

If no exercise has been carried out for two weeks, start again with light exercises. Ideally, 20-30 minutes have to be spent for this activity at least three days every week.

Take care

Heart patients, people having high blood pressure and those above 65 years of age leading inactive lives need to consult a doctor before exercising. They may have to carry out a cardiac stress test to be safe.

In case chest pain, breathlessness, dizziness or vomiting occurs during exercise, consult a doctor. People may suffer from muscles cramps when they start the physical activity, but the problem will be solved within a couple of days.

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