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Keep on Movin': Exercise After 50
- Increased stamina and energy
- Strong bones and lower risk of osteoporosis
- Improved muscle tone and strength
- Increased heart and lung efficiency
- Flexible joints, tendons and ligaments, which improve agility
- Improved digestive system
- Better balance, which helps to prevent falls
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved self-esteem
- Less tension and stress
- Improved memory and alertness
Get a Checkup First
Create a Goal
- Throughout the week, aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as walking briskly.
- Or, aim for 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercises throughout the week. Examples include jogging or running.
- In addition, do strength-training exercises to work the muscles in your legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, and arms. Strength training should be done two or more times per week.
- Or, do a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercises, along with the strength training.
- 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise along with two or more days of strength training
- Or, 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise and strength training
- Or, a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercises and strength-training
Do a Variety of Activities
- Find an aerobic activity you enjoy. This will help encourage you to stick with it.
- Try and find an aerobic activity that is low impact and will not take a toll on your joints, such as brisk walking, swimming, or low-impact aerobics classes.
- Weight machines
- Free weights
- Medicine balls
- Resistance bands
- Always wear comfortable clothing and athletic shoes that fit you well. In cold weather, wear layers of clothing and protect all parts of your body. In hot and humid weather, wear clothes that breath and drink plenty of liquids before and during exercise.
- Warm-up before you exercise.
- Allow your body to cool down after aerobic exercise. For example, walk for 5-10 minutes after your routine.
- Avoid exercising if:
- There is extremely cold, hot, or humid weather.
- You have an illness or injury.
- You have just eaten a heavy meal. Exercising after eating a lot of food may cause you to have an upset stomach.
- Severe shortness of breath
- Coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Pain, pressure, discomfort or tightness in the chest
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Extreme perspiration
- Severe pain, cramps or muscle aches
- Extreme exhaustion or fatigue after exercising
The American College of Sports Medicine http://acsm.org
National Institute on Aging http://www.nia.nih.gov
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology http://www.csep.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Chapter 5: Active older adults. US Department of Health & Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/chapter5.aspx. Published 2008. Accessed October 14, 2013.
Frankel JE, Bean JF, Frontera WR. Exercise in the elderly: research and clinical practice. Clin Geriatr Med. 2006; 22(2): 239-256; vii.
How much physical activity do older adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/olderadults.html. Updated December 1, 2011. Accessed October 14, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2013
- Update Date: 10/14/2013