Smart exercise: A primer for aging but health-conscious Americans – Part 1

Exercise becomes increasingly more important as we age. Our guide can help you get started!

More than ever before, Americans are waking up to the realization that they need to significantly improve their health. New research studies are showing that routine exercise and a healthy diet are pivotal for folks who want to maintain a stable lifestyle. However, for some people, it isn’t as easy as throwing on a pair of sneakers and going for a run around the block. With jobs, families and fiscal responsibility to keep in mind, making time for working out can seem daunting to say the least.

This easy-to-follow guide is meant for those who are unsure of how to start exercising regularly. While we’ll be exploring options for older Americans, those who are younger can certainly take these tips and develop a regimen that delivers real results.

Slow and steady wins the race

The key, as your primary care physician will tell you, is to take it easy at first, especially if your body is not accustomed to regular fitness. Even if this means going for a walk around the neighborhood once every other day, you’ll be delivering much-needed exercise while not pushing yourself too far or too fast.

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), its vital to keep in mind that your success is entirely dependent on the efforts that you make. Unless you’re willing to commit to a workout program on a consistent basis, you may simply be wasting your time.

“As you’ve probably noticed, the key word is you. The benefits you gain from physical activity will depend on your starting point and how much effort you put into it. You’ll need to match your physical activity to your own needs and abilities. For example, some people can swim a mile without thinking twice about it. For others, a slow walk to the corner and back is a big achievement. Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everybody, and there are many activities to choose from,” the organization states on its website.

Pushing yourself and feeling better

The NIA’s website includes an interesting anecdote about a 45-year old American who had undergone a quadruple bypass procedure. As you can imagine, this is serious surgery with a lot of room for complications. He told the institution that his biggest fear was triggering another health crisis by working out too much, despite advice from his doctors to the contrary. Despite feeling “worried that [he] might do more harm than good,” the man had a perfect recovery and his health has never been better.

Establishing a healthy endurance level is key for getting off on the right foot. Thankfully, some of the exercises involved – walking, running, swimming, climbing stairs, biking – are easily accomplished and aren’t too time-intensive. Most fitness experts agree that the best option is to try each one and see which group of activities you are best suited for. That way, you’re getting both enjoyment and health benefits out of them at the same time.

Some folks are back and forth about how much they should actually exercise. Previously, most workout professionals agreed that at least 90 minutes of cardio each week was necessary. Now, according to new research, a more individualized approach – involving coordination with your doctor – is preferable. Not that the original benchmark of 90 minutes-per-week is no longer valid, but as each person’s body is different, it’s more beneficial to customize a program that supports your strengths and encourages personal fitness growth.

In our next segment, we’ll look at specific exercises that older Americans can use on a regular basis to improve their health. Maintaining a wellness-centered lifestyle is advantageous for a number of reasons, including more affordable rates on life insurance policies. These policies are useful for people as they age, as they provide financial protection for their families after they pass away. To learn more, continue exploring and access our life insurance quotes online today!

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