It’s never too late to benefit from exercise

Even if you’ve been sedentary most of your adult life, it’s not too late to begin exercising. Something to keep in mind whether it’s for yourself or an aging parent.

As we get older, we’re more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, but there are several things they can do to lower our risk, even if we’re over 65. Being physically active is at the top of the list.

Encouraging research

As reported in the Washington Post, a University of Cambridge study of 14,599 adults aged 40 to 79 published in 2019 found that “adults with cardiovascular disease and cancer gained substantial longevity benefits by becoming more active, regardless of their past physical activity levels. Those who had been inactive at the start and increased to an average of 30 minutes of moderate activity per day showed about 24 percent lower mortality risk.”

One of the most encouraging aspects of the study was that even subjects with existing risk factors – like high body mass index, blood pressure, or cholesterol – saw health benefits from increasing their activity levels.

Start slowly

If you’ve been sedentary most of your adult life, getting to the recommended 30 minutes of moderate activity a day may feel overwhelming. It’s best to set small goals to begin with. Remember, some exercise is better than no exercise. 

There are two good reasons for easing into things over the space of weeks or months. First of all, it’s easier to commit to small, iterative changes than trying to do too much, too fast. You’re less likely to get discouraged. And secondly, it’s safer for your body.

Consider a fitness class for people age 55+ 

Sticking to a fitness routine can be tough if you go it alone. Finding a fitness buddy or becoming part of a fitness group can help keep you motivated.

That said, a regular fitness class full of twenty somethings may not be the best fit for you. Check out seniors’ fitness classes in your area. In many cases, a senior is defined as anyone over 55. You’ll get a good workout, but you’ll probably find the pace more suitable to your fitness level than in a typical class. And an instructor of a seniors’ class is more likely to accommodate any physical limitations you might have. 

A lot of fitness programs have moved online during the pandemic, which means you can access them without having to leave your home. 

Googling “senior fitness Ottawa” reveals a bunch of senior-friendly fitness programs. Champlainhealthline.ca lists 38 seniors’ fitness programs in Ottawa and area. So, there are lots of choices.

That doesn’t even include the activity programs that retirement communities offer to their residents.

There are plenty of opportunities to improve your fitness level and maintain a healthy heart. It’s just a matter of taking advantage of them.

Did you know that retirement homes offer fitness classes as well? This is one of the main activities our clients ask us about. 

Do you have questions about retirement living? We're happy to help! Contact Us!

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