Healthy Aging

MatureWell: Creating a Senior Fitness Plan

As a senior, keeping up with a fitness plan can feel daunting, but creating a plan that works for you is easier than you think and more important than you can imagine. To grow even stronger as you age, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following fitness guidelines.

Exercising in Your Golden Years

If you’re 65 or older, generally fit, and without any health impairments, find the plan below that works best for you. Leena Kodali, MD, medical director at the CHI St. Joseph Health MatureWell Lifestyle Center, says, “Remember to always ask your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen, especially if you have a chronic condition.”

150 Min Shoe

Get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as brisk walking

WellTip

WellTip: What counts as “brisk walking”? You should be able to talk as you walk but not sing.

Dumb Bell

and 2 or more days a week working the major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms

WellTip

WellTip: Try to do 8-12 reps at a time; but for a challenge, you can double or even triple your reps as long as you take a break in between.

OR
75 Min Shoes

Get 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity such jogging or running

WellTip

WellTip: What counts as “intense” activity? You should be breathing hard enough that you won’t be able to say more than a few words at a time.

Dumb Bell

and 2 or more days a week working the major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms

WellTip

WellTip: Even heavy gardening, like digging and shoveling, or practicing yoga can be a great way to strengthen your muscles.

OR
70 + 40 Min Shoe

Mix it up! Get an equal mix of moderate AND vigorous aerobic activity such as brisk walking, jogging, or running.

Dumb Bell

and 2 or more days a week working the major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms

Going the Extra Mile

If you’re a previously active senior looking for a real challenge and even stronger health benefits, the CDC recommends doubling your aerobic activity for maximum results but staying consistent in your muscle-strengthening activities.

It’s a Plan!

Be sure to keep track of your progress to make sure you stay moving with your fitness plan. Use the downloadable chart below to track how you’re building muscle strength, improving balance, and increasing your endurance. Be careful not to exercise the same muscle group two days in a row, and include balance and flexibility exercises in between!

Fitness Plan Chart Download Chart

If you need help getting active, the CHI St. Joseph Health MatureWell Lifestyle Center provides health and wellness services to adults 55 and over. The MatureWell facility offers a wide range of services and amenities, including primary care from a board-certified geriatrician, outpatient therapy services, and a gym and indoor pool. Begin your fitness journey at MatureWell today.

Sources:
CDC | How much physical activity do older adults need?
NIH NIA | Exercise and Physical Activity
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