To stay healthy or to improve health, older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises.
Regular exercise can help reduce the impact of several diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Regular exercise can also reduce arthritis-related pain, improve sleep, prevent falls and fractures, and improve low mood and memory. In fact, taking regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to remain independent. The good news is that any exercise is good for you. You don’t need to go to a gym! Walking is good but it needs to be at a steady to fast pace.
Your aim should be to increase your activity so you build up to about 30 minutes’ activity on three to five occasions a week. Each activity should be sufficient to raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer.
One of those occasions could be the U3A Keep-Fit class which is held on Thursdays at The Exchange 10am – 11am. The class is a low-impact workout set to music, and allows you to exercise at your own level to improve your cardiovascular fitness and flexibility.
We start with stretching exercises to warm up the muscles. We then go on to exercising the upper body for 15 minutes followed by fast walking around the room to get the heart pumping which takes blood and oxygen to the lungs and brain more quickly.
This is followed by exercises for the lower body to strengthen the abdominal and leg muscles, giving more strength for walking and climbing stairs etc.
Then there is the cooling down process which is just as important as the warming up process. We finish with some more stretching exercises to tone up with. At the end of this hour you can be sure that you will feel more energized.
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