When it comes to making lifestyle choices regarding staying active and fit, there are a myriad of options that can provide significant health benefits. Whether you are lifting weights or using a treadmill, performing yoga or tai chi, participating in a water aerobics class or simply walking with a friend, there are many great senior living lifestyle options for those interested in maintaining or improving their health.
And there’s certainly not a “one size fits all” exercise program that works for everyone. Especially for people who have physical limitations or a disability. Many types of exercise are simply impossible or even dangerous.
It's important to keep in mind that exercise or physical activity doesn’t have to be structured or complicated to provide health benefits. Normal everyday tasks like performing light housekeeping or slowly walking can be beneficial when compared with the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on an individual’s health. It is also important to remember that physical activity doesn’t have to consume large blocks of time. Even short bouts of physical activity provide significant health benefits.
Fitness Tip: Every Little Bit of Physical Activity Can Contribute to Better Health
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reinforces the idea that no matter your fitness level or ability, every little bit of physical activity can contribute to better health. Researchers at the University of Florida Institute on Aging, in collaboration with several other universities, have developed the Lifestyles Interventions and Independence for Elders Study (LIFE) to explore the lifestyle interventions that may help older adults maintain their independence and promote overall health.
Using data from the study, researchers concluded that for every 25-30 minutes an individual is sedentary throughout the day, their risk of heart attack or coronary death increased by one percent. They also found that repeated bouts of light activity throughout the day were correlated with elevated levels of HDL “good” cholesterol levels.
“Reducing time spent being sedentary even by engaging in low-intensity activities could have important cardiovascular benefits for older adults with mobility limitations,” said Thomas W. Buford, PhD, senior author and director of the Health Promotion Center of the University of Florida Institute on Aging. “In the past, much of the emphasis was placed on engaging in structured physical exercise,” Buford said. “It is becoming increasingly evident, however, that encouraging individuals to just reduce the amount of time they spend being sedentary may have important cardiovascular benefits.”
As our society has progressively moved towards a more sedentary lifestyle, the increased prevalence of chronic health conditions has been dramatic. However, reducing your risk for these chronic conditions is as simple as incorporating more physical activity into your day.
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About Frederick Wall
Frederick T. Wall is the Fitness Director at Green Ridge Village in Newville, PA and has provided exercise advice and guidance for diverse segments of the population for over ten years. Fred has a bachelor’s degree from Juniata College, a master’s degree from Frostburg State University, and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He resides in Newville, PA with his wife Megan and their daughter Laurel.