Older Adults

Regular physical activity is important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults. Being physically active can help you continue to do the things you enjoy and stay independent. Physical activity may reduce the risk of developing some diseases and disabilities that develop as people grow older.

The benefits of physical activity can affect every area of your life. They include:

  • Helping to maintain and improve your physical strength and fitness.
  • Improving your ability to do things you want to do.
  • Improve your balance.
  • Help manage and prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease, breast and colon cancer and osteoporosis.
  • Help reduce feelings of depression and may improve mood and overall well-being.

There are many ways to be physically active:

  • Endurance activities increase your breathing and heart rate. These include brisk walking, dancing, jogging, swimming, biking, climbing stairs and playing basketball or tennis.
  • Strength activities can make a difference in your ability to stay independent and carry out everyday activities. These include lifting weights and using a resistance band.
  • Balance activities help prevent falls. These activities include standing on one foot, walking heel-to-toe and Tai Chi.
  • Flexibility activities help your body stay flexible and limber. These include shoulder and upper arm stretches, calf stretch and yoga.

Being physically active can help you do many of your everyday activities. To learn more about fitting physical activity into your daily life and learn how you can be more active, visit: www.nia.nih.gov/Go4Life