Exercise: Should I do it if I am older?

Exercise: Should I do it if I am older?

Exercise, we hear all over the place that it is good for us, but is that true for individuals who are over 65 and who have previously not had exercise in their normal routine? The answer is absolutely yes! Physical activity helps us maintain the ability to live independently and reduces the risk of falling and fracturing bones. It reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and of developing high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes which all can be detrimental to our quality of life.  It helps people with chronic illness improve their stamina and muscle strength. It can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and fosters improvement in mood and feelings of well-being. It can also help control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.  

There are four main types of exercises and doing all of them will give you more benefits.

  • Endurance exercises focus on exercises that increase your heart rate and breathing. These are the exercises that will help us have endurance to complete all of our daily activities without difficulty.
  • Strength exercises focus on making all of your muscles stronger. These exercises are generally done with weight and resistance bands but can also be completed just using your body weight. Improving strength becomes even more important as we age because past the age of 30 we lose about 3-5% of our muscle mass per decade unless we are actively fighting that loss with exercise.
  • Balance exercises focus on improving balance to prevent falls. Falls can be absolutely detrimental to individual’s health especially if they lead to a fracture.
  • Flexibility exercises focus on stretching your muscle to help you stay mobile as you age.

This all may seem very overwhelming and most people don’t know where to start. Don’t worry we have the class for you! Thrive at Total Pursuit Athletics is a class specifically designed for individuals over the age of 55 years old that have not previously exercised regularly. We focus on all four of the different exercises that are mention above in a 60 minute session to get the most out of your workout. Our program is designed and coached by a doctor of physical therapy, so don’t let any injuries or co-morbidities stop you from trying the class. We hope to see you there and look forward to helping you on your way to better health!

Carley Greenawalt, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC

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