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The Weight Loss Centre

Four Ways to Be Active

exercise teamTo get all of the benefits of physical activity, try all four types of exercise Ė 1) endurance, 2) strength, 3) balance, and 4) flexibility.

  1. Be sure to get at least 30 minutes of activity that makes you breathe hard on most or all days of the week. Thatís called an endurance activity because it builds your energy or ďstaying power.Ē You donít have to be active for 30 minutes all at once. Ten minutes at a time is fine. Just make sure you are active for a total of 30 minutes most days.

    How hard do you need to push yourself? If you can talk without any trouble at all, you are not working hard enough. If you canít talk at all, itís too hard.

     

  2. Keep using your muscles. Strength exercises build muscles. When you have strong muscles, you can get up from a chair by yourself, you can lift your grandchildren, and you can walk through the park.

    Keeping your muscles in shape helps prevent falls that cause problems like broken hips. You are less likely to fall when your leg and hip muscles are strong.

     

  3. Do things to help your balance. Try standing on one foot, then the other. If you can, donít hold on to anything for support. Get up from a chair without using your hands or arms. Every now and then walk heel-to-toe. When you walk this way, the toes of the foot in back should almost touch the heel of the foot in front.

     

  4. Stretch. Stretching can help you be more flexible. Moving more freely will make it easier for you to reach down to tie your shoes or look over your shoulder when you back the car out of your driveway. Stretch when your muscles are warmed up. Donít stretch so far that it hurts.

Who Should Exercise?

Almost anyone, at any age, can do some type of physical activity. You can still exercise even if you have a long-term condition like heart disease or diabetes. In fact, physical activity may help. For most older adults, brisk walking, riding a bike, swimming, weight lifting, and gardening, are safe, especially if you build up slowly. But, check with your doctor if you are over 50 and you arenít used to energetic activity. You also should check with your doctor if you have:

  • a chronic disease, such as diabetes or heart disease

  • any new symptom you havenít discussed with your doctor

  • dizziness or shortness of breath

  • chest pain or the feeling that your heart is skipping, racing, or fluttering

  • blood clots

  • an infection or fever

  • unplanned weight loss

  • foot or ankle sores that wonít heal

  • joint swelling

  • a bleeding or detached retina, eye surgery, or laser treatment

  • a hernia

  • had hip surgery

 

Source: National Institute on Aging

 

Part 1: Exercise For Life

Part 2: Four Ways to Keep Active

Part 3: Safety Tips for Exercise

 
 
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