Four types of exercise for healthy aging
GEHA | August 20, 2018
Varying the type of physical exercise you engage in is essential for achieving overall fitness and feeling your best. There are four types of exercise that everyone should be doing regularly:
- Aerobic exercise. Endurance activities increase your heart rate and breathing to improve your cardiovascular ‒ and overall ‒ fitness. Aerobic exercise can lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, and help regulate your cholesterol. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Examples of aerobic exercises include walking or jogging, swimming and cycling.
- Strength training. Strengthening exercise can help regain muscle mass that diminishes as a natural part of aging. Strength training also stimulates bone growth, improves balance and assists with weight control. Strengthening exercises can be done with weights, resistance bands, or by utilizing your own body weight.
- Stretching. Flexibility in muscles and tendons decreases as we age. Regular stretching can help maintain muscle flexibility and prevent strains, cramps and joint pain. Perform a program of flexibility exercises at least four times per week.
- Balance exercise. Improving your balance can help prevent falls – and a potentially devastating injury. As we age, the systems that regulate our sense of balance begin to break down. Exercises to improve and train your balance can help prevent or slow these losses. Examples of balance exercises include yoga and tai chi. It may also be helpful to choose exercises that strengthen your leg muscles, such as squats or leg lifts, to help prevent falls.
“Endurance Exercise (Aerobic).” American Heart Association, American Heart Association.
“Four Types of Exercise.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 14 Sept. 2017.
“The 4 Most Important Types of Exercise.” Harvard Health, 1 Jan. 2017.