Nancy Nall Reporting
The facts are indisputable: The more active you are, the more healthy you’ll be. Seniors who take the time to exercise, or to work exercise into their daily routines, will stay fit and flexible longer than those who don’t. And fitness is a prime indicator of whether an older adult can “age in place” and stave off institutional care a little longer.
But then comes the complication: An aging body can’t do what it used to, and older people may fear injury – which keeps them on the couch. What’s a good, safe way to get moving without risking a fall or worse?
Take a look around. Most communities offer some form of fitness program for older adults, which can be as simple as “chair-cise,” for those of limited mobility, to water aerobics in community pools. Walking is the oldest exercise known to man, and most shopping malls open their doors early for seniors to take a few laps around the perimeter, out of the rain and icy weather. (Some even offer distance markers.) Many gyms have running tracks that welcome walkers, and may offer reduced-cost senior memberships.
The ways to keep active in later life are as numerous as the muscles in your body. Get ideas, guidance and more from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, About.com and the always-helpful AARP.
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