When you live in an with a heated pool, golf, a bowling center, spa, and an exercise and fitness center with saunas, don’t let advancing years become an excuse for sitting on the sidelines, especially when Lake Ashton has so many opportunities to stay fit.
It is well known and repeated often: Exercise improves health at any age. Fun activities at your active senior community, like swimming, or even walking in the pool, burns calories – and are a great way to stay cool.
Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found that for every mile a senior walks per day, the risk of cognitive decline drops by 13 percent. Such moderate aerobic exercise also improves heart function.
Adding strength training can boost your metabolism, build bone density and even lift your libido. All in all, research suggests that those over 65 who exercise at least once a week have a 40 percent lower risk of premature death than their less-active peers.
The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association suggest exercise guidelines for seniors that you can easily do at the fitness center of an active senior community.
Such exercise includes aerobics 30 minutes a day, five days a week at a moderately intense level (a la Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons tapes); weight training two to three times a week with weights that allow for 10 to 15 repetitions (if you can’t get to Lake Ashton’s fitness center, fill a water bottle with sand); and flexibility training (stretching) for at least 10 minutes a day.
But don’t just jump into exercise; prepare your body first. You should stretch before physical activities to prevent straining ligaments and muscles, and damaging joints. Simple stretching before and after exercise helps prevent injury. Always include warm-ups and cool-downs in any workout routines. At your active senior community you can find others who you can excercise with.
Nutrition also helps the body recover from exercise, as tissues constantly need to be renewed. Limit processed foods and consume more fresh fruits, vegetables and high-quality proteins.
Eating a small amount every four hours can boost metabolism and keep bodies energized during exercise. Don’t forget to keep hydrated with water, Gatorade or juice. Those with arthritis may want to avoid citrus, which can aggravate arthritic symptoms.
Even if you don’t (or can’t) walk, swim or lift weights, actively exercising is not the only way to make a healthy difference in an otherwise sedentary lifestyle at your active senior community. Research has found that standing and other non-exercise activities burn many calories in most adults, even if they do not exercise at all. Common non-exercise physical activities that people can do include performing household chores, shopping, and even fidgeting while standing. The enzymes in blood vessels of muscles that are responsible for “fat burning” are shut off within hours of not standing. Standing and moving lightly will re-engage the enzymes. If you’re awake 16 hours a day, it stands to reason that when you sit much of that time you are losing the opportunity to be your healthiest.
It’s easy to stay both active and healthy while enjoying your active senior community like Lake Ashton.