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Healthy Lifestyles for Seniors (cont.)

Exercise for Seniors

Patient Comments

Regular physical activity and exercise are known to control or even prevent a variety of health conditions in the elderly. The benefits of exercise in seniors impact heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, certain cancers, depression, and stroke.

More specifically, regular exercise is shown to be beneficial in:

  • Maintaining weight and burning excess calories
  • Improving the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol
  • Building up physical endurance
  • Optimizing health of the heart, lung, vascular system, bones, and muscles delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissues
  • Reducing falls and injuries
  • Enhancing mood and sleep quality

Adequate exercise for seniors may consist of a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise which increases the heart rate to about 75% of maximum predicted heart rate, performed 3-5 times per week. A person's maximum heart rate is roughly calculated by subtracting age from the number 220. For example, the target hear rate for exercise for a 65-year-old should be no more than 132 beats per minute. When first starting exercise, begin with a lower target rate, such as 78 beats per minute, and work your way up over the first few weeks.

These goals can be achieved by such safe and basic exercises as, walking, swimming, and using exercise machines. Balance exercises, flexibility exercises, and resistance exercises (weight lifting) can also be helpful.

If symptoms of chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, fainting, or dizziness occur during or after any exercise, it is important to stop and notify your treating physician promptly.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Palermo, DO; American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine

REFERENCES: Senior Exercise. Seniors' Health Diseases and Conditions.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/21/2016

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Healthy Lifestyles for Seniors:

Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Seniors - Experience

Please share what healthy lifestyle changes you have made.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Seniors - Diet

What diet changes have you made that have contributed toward a healthy lifestyle?

Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Seniors - Exercise

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