Staying active is a critical part of maintaining our health no matter how young we are. Regular physical activity reduces our risk of cardiovascular disease, helps with managing weight, and lowers the chances of high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes. The benefits of having an active lifestyle aren’t limited to people in their 20s or 30s. In fact, seniors who regularly exercise found their cognitive functions, physical strength and mental health improving after adding regular workouts to their lives.
Getting older doesn’t have to mean becoming less active. It does mean, however, that the amount and kind of exercise we need changes as we age. To help with aging gracefully, here are some expert tips from our physical therapists to keep you moving freely.
Get physical in your 20s
Try being active for 30-minutes a day by adding weight-bearing and strength building exercises to your weekly routine. Weight-bearing workouts are movements that keep you upright like running, playing tennis or hiking. Strength building exercises are when you’re improving strength by lifting weights, performing yoga or doing pushups.
Try working towards a goal of about 75-minutes of recommended intense aerobic fitness weekly.
Stay fit in your 30s
Our 30s tend to be the busiest periods of our lives. It’s also when we want to make sustainable health-related choices that support our well-being as we age. These decisions include getting adequate sleep, improving what we eat, and adjusting the positive exercise habits we started in our 20s.
We recommend prioritizing a balanced heart-friendly diet low on sodium and superfoods to give your body the right nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats it needs. Staying motivated and keeping fitness new and fresh will give your body enough time to recover and prevent injuries. If you’re short on time, burn calories by adding ten-minute workouts to your day. These micro workouts are perfect for people with busy schedules and provide similar health benefits to longer workouts.
Seek help in your 40s
Staying active in our 40s can increase life expectancy, limit the development of chronic diseases and helps us age well overall. However, it’s not uncommon to feel aches in pains as we enter this pivotal point in our lives. If you’re struggling to stay active at this age, it might be a good time to speak with a physical therapist. A physical therapist will work with you to achieve maximum levels of body function with minimum discomfort by organizing a workout plan designed for you.
Continue being strong in your 50s
You can continue to get stronger as you enter your 50s, but we recommend testing your bone density to make sure you’re not at risk of osteoporosis. You can continue to do exercises like walking, jogging, and weightlifting to improve your bone strength and reduce bone loss at the recommendation of your doctor. Your physician may also recommend adding Vitamin D and Calcium supplements to your diet in addition to weekly strength training to help you maintain your well-being.
Stay balanced in your 60s
Aches and pains may increase as you enter your golden years, but low impact exercises can help ease pain and maintain mobility. Exercise also helps build the necessary strength that can prevent falls and allow you to keep your independence. Along with staying active, it’s important to take a balance assessment with a physical therapist to make sure you aren’t at risk of falling. A therapist may also recommend group fitness programs that are linked to improving movement, balance and further reducing the chance of falls.
Preventive exercises and creating fitness routines are imperative to healthy aging. Have more questions about how to stay active in your 60s? Contact NWPC to speak with a professional health care provider or visit us at one of our Portland clinics to see a physical therapist.
Our latest infographic visually shares these important physical therapy tips for adults from ages 20 – 70. Check out our tips for 5 decades of adult life below. Do you practice any of these exercises at home?