College of DuPage Nursing Student Alan Gomez wrote for Healthy Lombard that as we grow older, we tend to notice a lot of wear and tear on our bodies, but that is completely normal and not a reason to limit physical activity. By committing 30 minutes each day to moderate-intensity activity; equivalent to a brisk walk, going to the gym, or performing easy and simple workouts, adequate health is maintained in the body (Harvard Health, 2019). In addition, it is also important to maintain a balanced diet by implementing healthy foods, as well as foods that we enjoy.
For individuals who are beginning to exercise it is important to set limits. For example, in an article by Harvard Health (2019), when beginning an exercise program, weight machines should be used initially since they offer stability and convert to free weights once optimal strength and confidence are met.
For individuals with a history of falls, strength exercises and balance routines are recommended. Setting up an appointment with a personal trainer may be beneficial for personalized exercise routines. Examples of strength exercises that help to promote balance are the toe stand and heel-to-toe walk; these exercises usually do not strain muscles, so they can easily be performed anywhere.
In addition to a good workout routine, adequate nutrition, hydration, and sleep are also essential. Protein is necessary to promote muscle growth and during sleep, the muscles utilize protein for building and repair (Harvard Health, 2019). Elderly individuals require a sufficient water intake during exercise since the thirst-quenching mechanism becomes increasingly unreliable with age (Kenny & Chiu, 2001). Taking care of oneself does not mean eliminating all the foods that we enjoy, rather, it is important to maintain a balance of healthy foods in addition to those foods that we enjoy. Similarly, sticking to a workout regimen does not require giving 100% effort with every workout. A simple walk around a park or even at an indoor facility such as a mall may be all that it takes to improve health.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). Exercise after age 70. Retrieved February 03, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercise_after_age_70
Kenney, W. L., & Chiu, P. (2001). Influence of age on thirst and fluid intake. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 33(9), 1524–1532. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768 200109000-00016