Active Aging, Staying Fit as You Age

The secrets to active aging

Group of seniors doing stretching exercise together at retirement community.When Sir Isaac Newton wrote that a body in motion stays in motion, he was talking about physics, but it’s true for human beings as well! To stay fit and active, you need to move more and sit less, particularly if you want to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle. Fortunately, it’s never too late to improve your fitness, and choosing an assisted living community that promotes active aging can be an excellent first step.

Get Moving!

Doctors recommend doing 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio activity most days to stay healthy. If you’re a long-term couch potato, that may seem like a lot, but you don’t need to do it all at once. Two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute bursts work just as well.

Don’t picture yourself struggling to keep up with muscle-bound athletes at a gym, either. According to the American Heart Association, any physical activity counts as cardio if it “makes the heartbeat faster and can make breathing harder than normal, but still allows for one to carry on a conversation.”

Naturally, you’ll want to check with your own physician before beginning any new exercise program, particularly if you have any chronic conditions.

Get on The Path to Fitness

One of the best types of exercise for older adults is brisk walking and it doesn’t require a gym membership or special equipment. Walking briskly raises your heart rate and is also weight-bearing, so it helps strengthen your bones. Grab a water bottle, pop on some headphones and music, or grab a friend or pet to keep you company, and you’re all set.

Other fun, low-impact ways to promote active aging include seated marching, water aerobics, resistance band exercises, chair yoga, and riding a stationary bicycle. The options are endless! Assisted living communities like The Cabana at Jensen Dunes often have structured active aging programs, led by trained professionals, that are specifically designed to meet the needs and abilities of their residents.

Maintain Strength

Because bodies begin losing muscle after age 30, it’s important to mix in some exercise focused on building strength. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re a newbie, start slowly, using one- or five-pound weights. No weights? No problem! Use canned goods, water bottles, or books as your weights. Or work with resistance bands—stretchy loops in various lengths—to add challenge to arm and leg exercises. If you want entertainment, keep your equipment near the television or use commercial breaks to complete a few short exercises.

Stretch Out

It’s also beneficial for seniors to participate in activities that improve flexibility and balance. This may alleviate some aches and pains today and help you avoid falls and injuries in the future.

Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong are gentle, time-honored ways to keep you bendable and loose. Pilates, which combines yoga and resistance exercise elements, is another good choice for maintaining muscle tightness and keeping joint stiffness at bay. Simple old-fashioned calisthenics and swimming (which, by the way, is cardio) can also do the trick.

Count the Benefits

Beginning an active aging program can make you feel better physically and boost your emotional outlook, restore energy, and fuel your brain. Exercise can even improve chronic health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. Get moving today—make it your first step toward a more fit and active lifestyle!

Assisted living communities, like The Cabana at Jensen Dunes in Jensen Dunes Florida, offer fully equipped exercise facilities and a full calendar of wellness programs. They make it easy to try new activities and to participate in a variety, so you don’t become bored with just one. To learn more about The Cabana at Jensen Dunes’ countless options for staying fit and active, call 772-758-1003 or visit