Stay active as you age

Being physically active is important at any age. However, as you get older, it becomes even more important to remain active. Even if you are not currently active and have not been for a long time, it’s not too late to start.

Why is physical activity important?

Regular physical activity is beneficial to people of all ages and physical conditions. Exercise improves your health and overall well-being by reducing stress, strengthening the heart and lungs, increasing energy levels, and helping you maintain your independence.

It can also help you maintain a healthy lifestyle as you age, and even reduce your risk of certain illnesses. Inactivity has been linked to health problems including chronic diseases and disabilities (such as arthritis and osteoporosis), and even premature death.

What kind of exercises should I do?

There are two types of exercise:

  1. Cardiovascular exercise helps keep your heart and lungs healthy by maximizing how well your body uses oxygen. Cardiovascular activities include walking, climbing stairs, swimming, playing tennis and dancing.
  2. Strength training helps build muscle strength, flexibility and endurance, and also helps with balance and coordination. These exercises are usually high intensity and are performed over a short period of time. Strength training activities include weight training, yoga, stretching and balance exercises.

If you combine an average of 15 to 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day with strength training activities a few times a week, you can expect a positive effect on your overall mental health and physical well-being.

If you are not currently physically active, you should learn about any limitations you may have by speaking to your doctor before you start a new exercise routine.

How do I fit exercise into my day?

Staying physically active doesn’t require a major adjustment to your daily routine. Some easy ways to incorporate activity in your life include:

  • Taking a walk every day
  • Walking up the stairs instead of using the elevator or escalator
  • Walking or bicycling instead of driving
  • Spending less time on the computer and/or watching TV
  • Gardening and doing other household chores (e.g., sweeping, vacuuming, raking, etc.)

Choose activities you enjoy so that exercise doesn’t feel like a burden. Consider alternating the types of activities to keep your routine interesting. Exercising with a friend may also help keep you motivated and engaged. Don’t forget to stretch before and after any physical activity to help minimize any pain or injury related to your workout.

The benefits of exercise may not present themselves right away. However, maintaining a regular exercise routine will result in positive differences in many aspects of your life. Set achievable fitness goals and focus on activities that you enjoy, and you’ll be well on your way to healthier aging.

How Engineers Canada-sponsored Health & Dental Insurance can help

As we get older, regular health check-ups become a must, which is why Health & Dental Insurance is important. You can get affordable coverage for prescription drugs, dental care, vision care and so much more.