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Never Too Old to Play: Health Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is a healthy, natural way to maintain your strength and improve your quality of life as you grow older. Through exercise, active adults can maintain the strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance that enable them to remain independent as they age. Research shows that regular exercise is especially beneficial for people with high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.

If you don’t already have a regular exercise routine, now is a great time to get started. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, just two and a half hours of physical activity each week can decrease your risk of developing chronic illnesses and even improve your mental health. Thirty minutes of exercise five days a week can help you look and feel better. Moderate activities that may benefit your health include:

  • Aerobics
  • Lifting weights
  • Light jogging
  • Tai chi
  • Walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Yoga

Everyone is different, so be sure to check with your doctor to find the best exercise for your body and abilities. As you get started, remember to be cautious: don’t overdo it, and always stretch before and after exercise to prevent injuries.

For information on exercising as you age, please visit:

National Institute on Aging – Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults
http://www.nihseniorhealth.gov/exerciseforolderadults/toc.html

Health Finder – More Proof Exercise Leads to Healthier Aging
http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.aspx?docid=635287

Go4Life – A physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging
http://go4life.niapublications.org/

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