The idea that exercise is good for you has been around for quite a while, but until recently seniors have been left out of the picture. Today, new information is emerging from research: people of all ages and physical conditions benefit from exercise and physical activity–and that includes seniors. But, if you have not exercised regularly for quite a while, it is important to make sure you begin with a safe senior exercise program. Once you start, it is important for you to be aware of your body and how you feel before, during and after any exercise routine.
Following are tips to help make sure you remain free from injury when performing any type of exercise. Please check with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following:
- A weakening in the wall of the heart’s major outgoing blood vessel called an abdominal aortic aneurysm
- A narrowing of one of the heart’s valves called critical aortic stenosis joint swelling
- Foot or ankle sores that won’t heal
- Persistent pain or problems walking after a fall. You might have a fracture and not know it.
- Eye conditions such as bleeding in the retina or a detached retina. Also consult your doctor about safe senior exercise after a cataract removal or lens implant, or after laser treatment or other eye surgery.
What To Look For AFTER You Start Exercising
Pay attention to how you feel after you start your senior exercise program. If you experience any of the following, see your doctor immediately:
- Any new symptoms you experience, or symptoms that have not been diagnosed by a medical professional
- Chest pain
- Irregular, rapid, or fluttery heart beat
- Severe shortness of breath
- Ongoing, significant, and undiagnosed weight loss
- Infections, like pneumonia, accompanied by fever which can cause rapid heart beat and dehydration
- An acute blood clot
- A hernia that is causing symptoms such as pain and discomfort
Exercise & Hip Replacement
Have you had hip replacement or hip repair? There is no need to let hip replacement or hip repair stop you from beginning a senior exercise program, but it’s very important to check with your doctor before you begin.
Here are some key points to keep in mind as you begin any senior exercise program:
- Get your doctor’s approval before doing lower-body exercises.
- Don’t cross your legs.
- Don’t bend your hips farther than a 90-degree angle.
- Avoid locking the joints in your legs into a strained position.
Growing older doesn’t mean you have to lose strength or your ability to do everyday tasks. Exercise can help you feel better and enjoy life more, even for those who think they’re too old or too out of shape.