Healthy Aging

Healthy Aging Articles

Resistance training by the numbers

Resistance training (also known as strength training) consists of doing upper- and lower-body exercises using free weights (like dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells), weight machines, resistance bands, or even body weight. It is regarded as one of the best ways to slow and even reverse age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia. The constant challenge with resistance training is finding that happy medium between doing too little and too much. New guidelines suggest people should focus on five categories: type of exercise, reps, weight, sets, and frequency. (Locked) More »

A plan for flexibility

As people age, flexibility enables them to active, perform everyday movements, and avoid injuries. Still, most would admit they lack flexibility and that they don’t give it the necessary attention. Flexibility is something that most older people can improve with some effort and commitment. A simple set of three stretches, done regularly, can improve flexibility in the common problem areas of the backs of the thighs, the hips, and the chest. (Locked) More »

Boost vitality by engaging your brain

A healthy diet, regular aerobic exercise, and proper sleep are essential to keep your brain healthy. But a new study that followed older adults into their 90s found that regular work engagement and a high level of life satisfaction are also associated with mind benefits. These help to utilize various thinking skills, increase a person’s sense of worth, and encourage more brain-building goals and activities. More »

What to look for in an online exercise video for older adults

A good workout video for older adults will be tailored to their health needs. It should have a warm-up, workout, cool-down, some stretching, an inspiring tone, tips to maintain the proper form, and the ability to make modifications. Types of workouts for older adults include low-impact cardio, tai chi, yoga, seated yoga, marching in place, resistance band exercises, and body weight workouts. Online exercise classes from Harvard Health Publishing are designed specifically for older adults. (Locked) More »

Are you healthy enough to age in place?

There are many health-related requirements for living independently in older age. For example, one needs sharp thinking skills in order to manage medications, pay bills, choose clothes for the day, and select and buy groceries; and one needs strength, balance, and flexibility in order to get up from a chair, cook, or clean. People with weakening aspects of health should talk to a doctor for potential solutions to improve or cope with health challenges in order to continue living independently. More »

Protect your bones with tai chi

Tai chi is a gentle exercise that helps prevent falls and may reduce the chance of a bone fracture. Those who perform tai chi see a 20% to 40% reduction in fall risk. In addition, there is some evidence that tai chi may help reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women, because it is a weight-bearing exercise that can stimulate bone growth. The practice helps reverse age-related changes such as muscle weakness and slow reaction time. More »

Learn new things without leaving home

There are many ways to learn something new while at home. Tools include smartphone apps, books, online classes, project kits, podcasts, and even YouTube videos. Learning something new brings invaluable health benefits, such as sharper thinking and maybe even better brain health. The reason behind better thinking skills that result from learning could be new brain cell connections, which may lead to more paths for information to get where it needs to go. More »

Boost your ability to lift and carry heavy loads

It’s easier to lift and carry heavy items if one maintains the muscles that help do the job, such as the thigh, gluteal, abdominal, shoulder, and arm muscles. In addition, it helps to follow the rules of safe lifting and carrying. To lift: one should get close to the object and bend the knees slightly, wrap one’s arms around the object, push down with the legs, and stand up straight. To carry: one should hug the object close to the chest to boost stability. (Locked) More »

Step up your fitness and safety

Falls continue to be a significant cause of fatal injury among older adults. Lack of mobility and declining strength are the main contributors to falls, but an often unrecognized threat is simply the fear of falling. Practicing simple step-ups at home or in the gym can improve balance, lower-body strength, and confidence. (Locked) More »

Shore up your core

Your core muscles, which are those in your torso and pelvis, help you maintain your balance, and allow you to bend, twist and reach. Strengthening them is essential, especially after age 30 when you may start to lose muscle mass. The average 50-year-old who hasn’t done strength-building exercises may have already lost as much as 10% of her muscle mass. More »