Women health

Four types of exercise can help you improve your health and fitness.

Discover the four different types of exercises and how they might help you. Visit NIA's YouTube channel for workout videos and explanations of how to do some of the exercises described here.

Most people concentrate on one sort of exercise or activity and believe that this is sufficient. According to research, it is critical to engage in all four types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Each one has its own set of advantages. Doing one type can help you enhance your ability to do the others, and variety can help you avoid boredom and injury. You can choose activities that suit your fitness level and needs regardless of your age!

On this page, you will find:

  1. Endurance
  2. Strength
  3. Balance
  4. Flexibility

Exercises that Build Endurance in elders

Endurance activities, often known as aerobic exercises, raise your breathing and heart rates. These exercises help you stay healthy, develop your fitness, and do the duties you need to do on a daily basis. Endurance activities help your heart, lungs, and circulatory system stay healthy. They can also help to delay or prevent a variety of ailments that affect the elderly, including diabetes, colon and breast cancer, heart disease, and others. Among the physical exercises that improve endurance are:

  1. Jogging or brisk walking
  2. Work in the yard (mowing, raking)
  3. Dancing
  4. Swimming
  5. Biking
  6. Stairs or hills to climb
  7. Playing basketball or tennis

Increase your endurance or "staying power" to keep up with your grandchildren at the park, dance to your favorite songs at a family wedding, or rake and bag leave. Build up to at least 150 minutes of hard-breathing activities every week. To achieve this goal, try to stay active throughout the day and avoid sitting for long periods of time.

Tip for Safety

  1. Warm-up and cool down with a mild activity like easy walking before and after your endurance activities.
  2. Listen to your body: endurance activities should not make you dizzy, produce chest pain or pressure or make you feel like you have heartburn.
  3. When undertaking any exercise that causes you to sweat, make sure you drink enough water.

If your doctor has advised you to limit your fluid intake, double-check before increasing your fluid intake while exercising.

  1. Be careful of your surroundings if you're planning to exercise outside.
  2. Dress in layers so that you can add or remove clothing as needed to accommodate hot or cold weather.
  3. When bicycling, utilize safety equipment such as a helmet to avoid injury.

Quick Tip: Put Your Workout Intensity to the Test

Try talking while you're active: if you're breathing heavily but can still hold a conversation, you're doing moderate-intensity exercise. It's a vigorous-intensity activity if you can only pronounce a few words before taking a breath.

Older Adult Strength Exercises

Muscle strength can make a significant difference. Strong muscles allow you to remain independent and make common tasks such as getting out of a chair, climbing stairs, and carrying groceries simpler. Keeping your muscles strong might help you maintain your balance and avoid falls and injuries caused by falls. When your leg and hip muscles are strong, you are less prone to fall. Weight lifting is referred to as "strength training" or "resistance trains” by certain people.

Weights are used by some persons to assist them to develop their strength. If you do, begin with modest weights and gradually increase them. Others employ resistance bands, which are stretchy elastic bands of varied strengths. If you're a newbie, start by exercising without the band or with a light band until you get used to it. When you can easily accomplish two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions with a band or a stronger band (or more weight), add a band, or move on to a stronger band (or more weight).

At least two days a week, conduct strength workouts for all of your major muscle groups; however, don't exercise the same muscle group on consecutive days. Here are a few strength-building exercises to get you started:

  1. Performing weightlifting
  2. Grocery shopping
  3. Taking a hold of a tennis ball
  4. Curl your arms above your head
  5. Curls of the arms
  6. Push-ups against the wall
  7. Using your own body weight
  8. Making use of a resistance band

Tip for Safety

  1. During strength exercises, don't hold your breath and breathe regularly.
  2. As you raise or push, exhale, and inhale as you relax.
  3. If you're unsure about a particular workout, consult your doctor.

Older Adult Balance Exercises

Balance exercises assist older persons to avoid falls, which are the prevalent problems with devastating implications. Many lower-body strength workouts will also help you gain balance. Exercises for balance include:

  1. Tai Chi is a form of "movement meditation" in which the body is moved slowly, gently, and precisely while breathing deeply.
  2. One-footed standing
  3. The heel-to-toe walk is a type of walking where you move from your toes to your heels
  4. The walk of balance.
  5. From a seated posture, stand up.

Tips on Safety

  1. If you feel wobbly, have a firm chair or someone close to grab on to.
  2. If you're unsure about a particular workout, consult your doctor.

Exercises to Improve Flexibility in the Elderly

Stretching can help you become more flexible. It will be easier for you to reach down to tie your shoes or look over your shoulder as you back your car out of the driveway if you move more freely. Exercises to improve flexibility include:

  1. Exercise to stretch your back
  2. The stretch in the inner thigh
  3. Ankle stretches
  4. Leg stretch at the back

Tip for Safety

  1. When your muscles have warmed up, stretch.
  2. After endurance or strength training, stretch.
  3. Don't overextend yourself to the point of pain.
  4. When holding a stretch, remember to breathe normally.
  5. If you're unsure about a particular 

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