Nagivation
Enrique Gonzalez's Health Tips
It is a well documented medical fact that seniors who exercise regularly, either in organized fitness programs or on their own, have fewer hospital stays and lower overall health care costs than seniors who do not.  Plus, seniors who are active are less likely to become depressed.  It pays to stay fit -- physically, emotionally, and financially!  Below are some tips on how to get started and stay motivated.
   
health tip

1. Start slowly, one step at a time.  If you plan to participate in a fitness program of any kind, first meet with your doctor before you sign up. Your doctor will know if there are certain exercises that should be avoided. You may need a permission form from your physician.  Even if you are doing less strenuous exercising, such as walking on a regular basis, you should start slowly and gradually increase the level of activity.  Slow and steady is the best approach to any form of fitness program, at least in the beginning stages!

   
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2. Combine cardio with strength training. Seniors benefit the most when they combine aerobic/cardio exercise, such as taking a walk or going for a swim, with muscle-strengthening activities, like lifting light weights or other strength building exercises. According to recent studies, seniors need two and a half hours a week of aerobic physical activity and strength-training exercises 2 or 3 times a week.

   
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3. Focus On Balancing Exercises. Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among seniors.  Loss of balance makes seniors more prone to falls. Encourage yourself to practice simple balance-enhancing exercises on a regular basis, such as walking heel to toe, standing on one leg, or standing up slowly from a sitting position.  Practicing Yoga or Tai Chi are other great ways to improve balance while reducing the fear of falling.

   
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4. Stop the Pain. Here's another good reason to keep yourself moving!  Seniors who suffer from joint pain as a result of osteoarthritis or other forms of arthritis often assume that they cannot or should not exercise.  This mentality can’t be more wrong!--Physical activity can make seniors with arthritic pain feel better!  Exercise is a natural pain reliever for arthritis.  Check out www.arthritis.org for details on safe and effective exercise programs for reducing pain and joint stiffness.

   
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6. Boost energy levels - whether walking around the block or ballroom dancing -- can help restore energy and a sense of well being.  Whatever form of movement you enjoy, make that your exercise.  Moving is exercise, even when that means doing light housework, working in the garden, or walking the dog. Motivate yourself to get off the couch!

   
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