As the baby boomer population increases, healthcare costs have also risen as many seniors have forgone exercise during their elderly years. Once used as a mode of transportation, walking began to change with the diminishment of walkable neighborhoods. The distance between the local store, church, park, or restaurant no longer provided connectivity that kept them walking. Along with urban growth and development, safety concerns have also increased. Then retirement has decreased the amount of activity levels for many seniors, especially those on a fixed income. Yet, others have given up on exercise due to injury, further declining their ability to move. The list of reasons is vast, yet it's important to know that it is never too late to get started with exercise for seniors.
However, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), armed with the knowledge that fitness is important for preventing health problems, continued independence, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, only 27% of the senior population meet the recommendations of moderate exercise and strength training.
Fortunately, to get seniors moving and reduce health care costs, health insurance companies are paying for senior fitness programs at health clubs across the country. If you are an AARP member, you have access to their free interactive online fitness classes and health and wellness workshops. With online access, you can also find fitness professionals offering free workouts via YouTube videos.
If you are currently living a sedentary lifestyle in a residential care facility, listed below are some guidelines to help you get started with exercise for seniors:
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