Daily physical activity can help improve blood flow – and keep your mind sharp. Some people find it’s easier to get motivated when they exercise with a friend. Some choose a favorite pet to accompany them on walks. However you choose to get moving, include these three activities — as important fitness components — in your routine:
Aerobic activity. Activities such as brisk walking, bicycling or swimming slow the age-related loss of aerobic capacity — the ability of your heart, lungs and blood vessels to deliver adequate oxygen to your muscles during physical activity. The net result of aerobic activity is increased stamina and endurance. It also can decrease high blood pressure, which may reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and other related conditions.
Strength training. Increasing your strength by using weights or elastic resistance bands can slow or even reverse the loss of muscle mass associated with aging. Strength training also can slow bone loss, cut your risk of injury and make you feel more energetic.
Stretching. Stretching increases the range in which you can bend and stretch joints, muscles and ligaments, helping to decrease stiffness and prevent injury.
“Exercising also helps your mood,” says Dr. Takahashi. “People who exercise briefly each day — maybe get some sunlight — certainly have better moods.” During the day, you’ll be more awake, more alert and quicker on the mental draw. And chances are if you’re exercising regularly, you’ll sleep better, too.
(Source: Mayo Clinic website at www.mayoclinic.com)