Exercise is beneficial at any age, but there are special benefits for people over 50.
“With the myriad benefits of regular physical activity, when it comes to healthy aging, exercise is perhaps the closest thing there is to a miracle drug,” Dr. Scott Kaiser, family physician and geriatrician, told LiveStrong.com.
Kaiser is the Director of Geriatric Cognitive Health and provides specialty geriatric medical consultations at the Pacific Brain Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
“A well-rounded workout, including a mix of exercises to increase endurance, strength, balance and flexibility, can help in many ways,” he said. “Beyond the physical benefits of increased strength, cardiovascular fitness and balance, there are mental and emotional rewards as well.”
Experts spoke to Eat This, Not That about the signs that indicate people 50+ may need more exercise. Here are a few.
Sign 1: You get winded walking up the stairs
Shortness of breath from climbing the stairs is an indication of cardio conditioning that needs improvement. Medical News Today said you can ease breathlessness by practicing deep breathing and pursed-lip breathing. To improve cardio conditioning for stairs, incorporate more walking and add more stair climbing into your day-to-day activity.
Sign 2: You don’t have the best bloodwork
Although levels of cholesterol naturally increase with age, high levels of it, along with high triglycerides, blood sugar and/or low testosterone, can indicate the need for more exercise. A Duke University Medical Center study found that vigorous exercise had the biggest impact on lowering cholesterol. But even moderate exercise was found to keep cholesterol levels from rising, WebMD reported.
Sign 3: You can’t do a pushup
Being unable to perform a single pushup indicates the need to add more strength training and body movements in your activity. Healthline reported standing pushups, performed against a wall, are a good start. You can progress to seated pushups, kneeling pushups, standard pushups and then incline pushups.
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