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  • Carol Michaels

The Need to be More Active as We Age

There are warning signs that you need to be more active as we age.

*Weight gain.

If you are maintaining weight but your clothes are tight you might have sarcopenia which is a decrease in muscle mass and increase in fat. Adding strength training will increase the muscle mass and decrease fat.

*Back pain.

Another warning sign to be more active is back pain. Back pain may sometimes be alleviated by strengthening the muscles around the spine.

*Not sleeping well.

This is especially true if you lead a stressful life. Participate in a program that includes relaxation breathing and other relaxation techniques.

*GI issues.

GI issues may be a warning sign that you need to develop ways to decrease stress. Exercise is an excellent stress, depression, and anxiety reducer.


After receiving medical clearance, find a good personal trainer or small group exercise program.

* Balance.

Balance deterioration may lead to falls. Find an exercise program that stresses balance exercise.

As we age there are degenerative changes, elasticity changes, sarcopenia, and osteoporosis. Some of the medications that we may be on can effect our exercise performance. Always receive medical clearance before participating in an exercise program.

As we age, we might have to use lighter weights for delicate body parts (shoulders) and avoid high risk exercises. In addition,it is wise not to do the same movement too often, in order to avoid repetitive stress injuries. Also, avoid military- like exercise training.

A brisk walk outdoors is helpful for reducing depression. Walking outside is usually very invigorating and may decrease fatigue levels. If the person likes to dance, a Zumba gold class is perfect for that age group. Music and dancing can also reduce depression.

Group fitness classes are also recommended. This is especially true for those that live alone and need the social connection of a group class. For older adults that are losing their balance, make sure to include balance exercise.

Lastly, swimming is a good exercise for everyone especially seniors. It gets the heart rate up and is gentle on an arthritic body-it will not help bone density but can lift depression-especially if the pool is outdoors and the sun is out.

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