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The VA Maryland Health Care System Offers Tips for Senior Citizens and Older Adults to Spring into Shape
Date:3/9/2010

king at the mall – climate control and even surfaces make mall walking a great way to stay in shape. Many malls have clubs – check yours out!
  • Taking the stairs – stair climbing exercises the same muscles necessary for keeping your balance while rising from a chair, so it is important to keep these muscles strong.
  • Sign up for aerobics or yoga classes at a senior or community center – these classes emphasize cardiovascular health and flexibility – both important for endurance and safety.
  • Get an exercise “buddy” or join a club – the support is helpful for staying on track, even when you don’t feel like exercising.
  • Making little changes that add up – parking farther away from church, or a store entrance and walking the extra distance – every little bit helps.
  • Finding dance classes – ballroom dancing improves flexibility and balance; square dancing and aerobic dancing improves cardiovascular fitness.
  • Exercising at home with exercise programs on TV, or with a DVD or home workout video.
  • Swimming – check into the local YMCA, community colleges, fitness centers or gyms.
  • Be Safe:
  • Wear shoes with rubber grips to prevent falls in slick weather conditions.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Remember to warm up before and cool down and stretch after any exercise activity to lower risk for injury and to keep you motivated to continue.
  • Drink water to stay hydrated.
  • Set an exercise goal, aiming for 2.5 hours each week of moderate to vigorous activity for cardiovascular fitness and resistance (strengthening) exercise.
  • Make increasing physical activity part of a daily routine.
  • Eat better while eating less:
  • We need fewer calories as we age, so the quality of the diet is even more important. Make every calorie count by including nutrient-rich foods: whole grains, lean protein,
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