Exercise for Seniors
- Start slowly, especially if you haven't been active for a long time. Little by little, build up your activities and how hard you work at them.
- Warm up your muscles before you stretch. Try walking and light arm pumping first.
- Exercise should not hurt or make you feel really tired. You might feel some soreness, a little discomfort, or a bit weary, but you should not feel pain. In fact, in many ways, being active will probably make you feel better.
- Don't hold your breath during strength exercises. That could cause changes in your blood pressure. It may seem strange at first, but the rule is to breathe out as you lift something; breathe in as you relax.
- Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
- Unless your healthcare provider has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to drink plenty of water when you are doing activities. Many older adults don't feel thirsty even if their body needs fluids.
- Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your back straight, you're usually bending the right way. If your back "humps," that's wrong.