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Senior Fitness

(CSN) I don't feel as strong as I used to. I'm getting older. Is it good for me to exercise as a senior?

That is a common question and the answer is YES! And it is easier to start than you may think. Exercise is beneficial for all ages. Regular physical activity helps to control your weight; reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers; strengthens bones and muscles; improves your mental health and mood; and for seniors it can improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls.

Here are some tips that will help you exercise effectively as you age.

• Pick an activity that you enjoy. Walking, swimming, bicycling, dancing are good

endurance exercises.

• Ask a friend to exercise with you so you can support each other.

• Begin gradually. As you get more comfortable you can increase the duration. Minor aches and pains will fade with time.

• Some health concerns may affect the type and amount of exercise you can perform so always check with your doctor or chiropractor before starting any exercise program. • "Functional Exercises" or those that mimic actual daily activities such as walking up and down stairs, getting in and out of a chair can be quite effective. Tasks such as vacuuming and moving wet laundry from the washer to the dryer one piece at a time, can help increase strength and flexibility. • To protect your spine, keep your back as straight as possible and lift with your legs.

As we age, we lose muscle mass and some health care providers suggest that weight training will help prevent strength loss and keep patients feeling younger. But many seniors find they can't lift the heavy weights necessary to build muscle mass. Don't get discouraged. Even though muscle strength diminishes, muscle endurance does not. That means you may benefit from switching strength exercises to endurance exercises, working muscles with lighter weights but for a longer time period.

Many seniors with arthritis feel they are unable to exercise or that exercise isn't good for them and they become physically inactive. However, prolonged periods of inactivity will often make joints more stiff and painful. In most cases you are still able to and should exercise. Research shows:

• that older people with arthritis gain modest improvement in physical function with exercise;

• pain decreases, general mobility and flexibility improves when in a long term exercise program; • water based exercises work joints without putting them through the stress of land based exercise program;

• low impact activities keep joints moving and minimize pain.

Remember, stiff and brittle breaks. Loose and limber lasts.

Regular chiropractic adjustments can help maintain the health and flexibility of your muscles and joints. Call us at 403-782-3341 to book an appointment and receive a $50.00 savings off your first

exam as a new patient with Dr. Korsh and get moving!!  

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