The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s publication Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise per week. However, in reality, many people find it difficult to meet this daily requirement due to various reasons like work or raising children. The good news, though, is that 2 hours and 30 minutes may not be entirely necessary. In fact, a recent study found that 15 minutes of exercise might be enough to realize health benefits.
The Importance of Exercise
As people get older exercise becomes even more important. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a number of negative health complications. Being active, on the other hand, can help prevent problems like memory loss and lower the chance of heart disease—one of the leading causes of death.
French scientists looked at two groups of people. One group was made up of 65-year-olds, and another group was made up of 60-year-olds. Each group was monitored for at least a decade. The study found that as the participants exercised more their risk of death dropped. Surprisingly, the study discovered that even a small amount of exercise lowered the risk of death. The researchers also discovered that just 15 minutes of exercise was enough to lower one’s risk of death.
How to Get Started
If you are an older adult, and you’re interested in being more active, here are some tips on how to get started:
- Walking – The above study used the example of a brisk 15-minute walk as adequate daily exercise. Walking is one of the best exercises to start with. It’s easy; it’s free, and you can do it just about every day (as long as the weather conditions aren’t dangerous). Here’s a helpful guide you can use to get started.
- Lift Weights – Introducing light weights to your exercise routine is a great way to get fit. One of the easiest exercises you can do is arm raises. You simply hold the weights in front of you with your palms facing the floor. Then you lift the weights above your head. There are a number of other exercises you can do with weights as well. This article provides some tips and an exercise program.
- Yoga – Yoga has many health benefits for older adults. It helps increase flexibility, protects joints, and strengthens balance. There are various poses that are easy to perform and great for beginners. Before you start practicing yoga on your own, you should enroll in a class that covers the basics. Always keep in mind that you should never push your body too far. Here is some more information on the health benefits of yoga.