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Retirement the perfect time to start exercising

Thinking about retirement? Experts suggest it might be the perfect time to reinvigorate your body by starting an exercise program. According to a recent USA Today article, many retirees have not done regular exercise since they were in high school. But if so, retirement may be the perfect time to jump start your retirement exercise program.

Retirement and starting an exercise program


Experts suggest, however, that before you start doing any type of exercise after retirement it’s important to see your doctor. Get a physical and make sure your healthy enough to start doing moderately intense physical activities. Your doctor can also recommend a certified fitness professional, who can set retirees on the path to better health and fitness.

The good news is it does not matter how old you are. It’s never too late to start an exercise program. Doctors have seen patients as old as 80 and 90 years benefit from exercises which stress flexibility, endurance and strength. The older you are, however, the more important it is to see your doctor BEFORE you start exercising so they can evaluate your risk of heart attack, stroke and orthopedic injuries.

Exercise does not have to be at the gym


The good news is that many people can get adequate exercise without going to the gym. Think you have to run or lift weights an hour a day to get a cardiovascular benefit from exercise? Think again. Experts suggest exercise should be fun. Start with a goal you want to accomplish. Maybe you have also wanted to do a 5K, or enter a dancing competition. Find a club or organization with members with like-minded goals and you can not only get physically fit but also expand your social network. Groups also offer increased motivation to meet your goals.

Exercise has numerous physical benefits


Increasing your physical activity level has numerous benefits. According to studies, “exercise reduces the risk of early death, helps control weight and lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, some types of cancer, anxiety disorders, cognitive decline and hip fractures. It can also help improve sleep, memory, concentration and mood.”

Experts recommend, however, that you do at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. This may seem like a lot, but not if you consider that any type of moderate to vigorous movement can be exercise. Common types of moderate exercises include:

• Walking briskly, 3 miles an hour or faster
• Water aerobics
• Bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour
• Tennis (doubles)
• Ballroom dancing
• General gardening

Vigorous-intensity activities for retirement:


• Jogging, running
• Swimming laps
• Tennis (singles)
• Aerobic dancing
• Bicycling 10 miles an hour or faster
• Jumping rope
• Heavy gardening, continuous digging and hoeing so that heart rate increases
• Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack

Exercise should improve your functional fitness


Another consideration after retirement when you began to exercise is how your regimen is improving your functional fitness. For more information you can talk to a trainer, but generally the exercises you do should improve balance, coordination, endurance and your ability to perform activities of daily living. The key is to keep moving so you won’t ever get to the point where you cannot get in and out of chairs, walk across your living room or go up and down stairs.
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