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Choosing Suitable Exercise As You Get Older

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Choosing Suitable Exercise As You Get

As you get older, it's important to choose the right type of exercise to avoid injuring yourself or aggravating existing problems. Gentle exercise should suit the vast majority of people as it is kinder to your joints. Many people with joint problems can also successfully take part in these low-impact types of exercise, as long as the intensity is built up over time.

Choose an Exercise that you Enjoy doing

A lot of people are guilty of jumping on an exercise bandwagon because they read about in a magazine or it was recommended by a friend or family member. This is fine in principle, but there are several problems with this approach. Firstly, this particular form of exercise may not be suitable for your circumstances. For example, your friends may rave about the benefits of yoga, but if you're suffering from arthritis and other conditions that affect your mobility, this can be extremely painful or even physically impossible. Secondly, if you aren't really into the exercise, it's likely that you'll become bored and struggle to summon up enough enthusiasm to keep up your exercise regime. Both of these factors indicate that choosing a form of exercise that you genuinely enjoy is the best move - but not if it has the potential to contribute to existing health problems, or cause health issues further down the line.

Gentle Exercise

Gentle exercise is usually the best option. This includes exercises like walking, cycling and swimming. As these are low-impact exercises, they put less pressure and stress on your joints. This means that you can do them regularly without worrying that they will lead to joint problems later in life or contribute to existing joint problems like arthritis.

Health and fitness experts recommend that you do some form of gentle exercise several times a week. If you suffer from joint problems (particularly arthritis), you may feel that this is very unlikely, but this doesn't need to be the case. Unless your joint problems are causing you such severe pain that your everyday life has been turned upside down, regular exercise can actually improve the health of your joints. It also has the added benefit of improving your health in general. Even simply walking for ten minutes each day will go a long way towards this, and you can increase your walking time as you begin to feel more comfortable.

Start Slowly and Build Upwards

Whichever exercise type you choose, it's important to start slowly and work upwards. This is especially important if you're not used to exercising regularly, as it's extremely easy to pull muscles or do more serious damage if you try to push yourself too hard before your body is ready. To use the walking example again, five to ten minutes is a good starting point. Keep this up for around a fortnight before increasing your walking time to fifteen minutes for the next fortnight, and so on. This gives your body enough of a chance to get used to the step up in length and intensity before you raise the bar again.

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