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Walk Before You Run
Sometimes, faster isn’t better. The hare learned that as he watched the tortoise cross the finish line. When it comes to health, it turns out that Aesop was right: Slow and Steady sometimes wins the race.
Researchers have found that five hours of light exercise provided significant health benefits for seniors over the age of 65. Oregon State University scientists examined a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and discovered that light exercise is nearly as beneficial as high-intensity exercise for seniors.
Light exercises are defined as any non-strenuous activity. Doctors found that seniors who participated in walking, slow dancing (such as waltzing), ping pong, and pool aerobics for at least 5 hours per week experienced health benefits. Even everyday household chores, like sweeping or gardening offer light activity rewards.
Scientists have found that consistent light activity reduces BMI, improves insulin levels, enhances flexibility and balance, and lessens the occurrences of chronic illnesses in seniors. Scientists have also found that light activity is easier for seniors to consistently complete. While high-intensity physical activities are still the most beneficial, many seniors would require a doctor’s approval to participate. Strenuous workouts also frequently incur injuries and are easily dismissed. Committing to weeding the garden every week is easier for most seniors than committing to running three miles per week.
At Capital City Nurses, we know that staying active is a great way to stay healthy as you age. We encourage you to do what you can to be active. If you’re having trouble getting started, light exercise is an ideal place to begin. Gather a group of friends for leisurely walks, teach your grandchildren how to plant and tend a garden, or challenge a loved one to a game of ping pong. You don’t have to kill yourself, you just have to keep moving for 30 minutes. Capital City Nurses can help you with your activities if you’re nervous about getting started. Our caregivers can help and supervise as you embark on your fitness journey.
If you’re interested in getting active, remember: You don’t have to start big. Before you sign up for a triathlon, take a turn around the block with friends. It might not seem like a tough workout, but it’s a step in the right direction.