Learn how adults and seniors can become more physically active and why it is important



Learn How Adults and Seniors Can Become More Physically Active and Why It is Important

    For argument's sake, let's agree that most people are at different stages of physical activity and wellness levels in their lives than others.  For example, some folks are extremely active and exercise on a regular basis, while others hardly move, and live a sedentary lifestyle to the point where they're almost immobile, even though they don't need to be that way.

    That's unfortunate, because the human body is designed to move around and be active for at least part of the day. The lack of physical activity, increases the risk for all kinds of illnesses, including physical, mental, and in some cases, can eventually lead to death.

    There's nothing wrong with sitting, reclining, or lying down periodically throughout the day, but not every day or for long periods of time.  Of course, relaxing a day here and there is totally understandable and much needed, but being inactive can become a chronic and habitual problem, when it's done repeatedly over days, months, or years.

    Living an inactive lifestyle is essentially like committing self-sabotage if the person is able to physically move, but they just don't want to be active.  Maybe it's that they're lazy, too comfortable, or have created a habitual pattern that has become difficult to break.

    It's not a secret that living a sedentary lifestyle increases the possibility of an unhealthy outcome. These health issues can include weight gain and obesity, cardiovascular disease, poor blood circulation, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and much more. Who wants to live with those health issues, which will affect your quality of life? While your situation will only get worse over time.

    Living an inactive, and sedentary lifestyle, can also prohibit us from experiencing many wonderful things, and living a full, well-rounded and balanced lifestyle, which everyone should strive to achieve. And as if that isn't enough, physical inactivity may also lead to depression, mood changes, and other more severe mental health issues.

    So, what is your current activity level, and what can you do to increase or improve your physical wellness?

    Let's first figure out your activity level on any given day.  Start by subtracting the number of hours that you sleep from a 24-hour day. Then figure out how many hours per day you are active, and how many you are inactive?   It doesn't have to be exact. We're just trying to get a general idea.

    If you spend more than 50 percent of your awake time, subtracting 8 hours of sleep or so, are you sitting, reclining, and not moving? It's important to find ways to change how you're spending your awake time.

    What exactly is the problem?  Is it that you can't move, or that you just don't want to move? Do you feel pain when you move, or some discomfort?

    What percentage of your day do you spend watching TV, or sitting at your desk, or using your phone or computer?  If that's your situation, you should walk around a little every 20 to 30 minutes.  Set an alarm to remind you to take small five-minute breaks, every thirty minutes.

    Once you have a general idea of the amount of time that you spend inactive each day, can you determine why you're inactive, and focus on the things that you can do, to improve your mobility and ability to be more active.

    Let's start with the basics

    Walking
    Go for a walk, or even pace back and forth, if you don't have the room, or you can't go outside. Maintain a record of how often you walk, and how far you walk each time. If you can, purchase a pedometer to track how many steps you take per event, or per day. Pedometers are a great way to stay motivated, and a tool to set personal fitness goals.

    Qi Gong exercises
    Qigong, Qi Gong, or Chi Kung, is a system of coordinated body postures and movements, breathing, and meditation, which is used for the purpose of maintaining good health, and spirituality. It is also martial-arts training.

    Yoga exercises
    Yoga is an excellent way to align and strengthen your body, but there are lots of styles and positions.  Make sure to start slowly and choose the ones that you can do without hurting yourself.  You can then slowly add new positions into your routine, once you feel comfortable. Be careful not to overdo it.

    Simple floor exercises
    There a lot of simple movements and exercises that you can do on the floor, to increase mobility, and massage and strengthen your body. Learn how to get up and down from the floor. 

    Dance happy movements
    Put on music that you love, and smile and dance as if no one is watching. And if you know the words, sing along to the music.

    Other activities and exercises include:
    Swimming, water aerobics, aerobic exercises, bicycle riding, climbing stairs when possible, lifting weights, and using resistance training, can all help you to build strength and increase your flexibility, balance, and mobility.

    Make sure to drink plenty of water after any physical activity and exercise.

    Figure out how you can increase your mobility, agility and strengthen your body.

    What else can you do?
    There are lots of fun and simple ways to exercise and remain active throughout your day.  Think about what you like to do, and what you can incorporate into your current lifestyle.  Even if you're currently active, you can always make small and positive changes that help you maintain, and improve, your physical and mental status level.

    Talk with your doctor about physical activities and things, that you can do to add to your daily repertoire.

    Everyone, especially seniors, can benefit from maintaining an active physical lifestyle, that will help them stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.

    Find out what works for you and do it!

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