Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Physical Activity as You Get Older
It's never too
late to start getting active. Being fit is important for
everyone. You can benefit from physical activity even if you think of yourself
as "elderly" or you already have conditions such as arthritis or heart
disease. Being more active will help you feel better and may even
help you live longer.
If you haven't been
active for a long time, you may have no idea where to start. The important
thing is to take that first step—and make that first step a small one.
Many people become less active
as they age, but staying active—or getting active, if you
aren't already—has definite benefits.
Exercise also has
these specific health benefits for older adults.
Physical activity doesn't have to
be strenuous. Older adults can gain great health benefits
with a moderate amount of physical activity. This can be done in longer
moderately intense activities (such as walking) or in
shorter sessions of more
vigorous activities (such as fast walking or
When you exercise,
it's normal to have some minor muscle and joint soreness.
But other signs may point to something more serious. Stop exercising if you think you might be having a heart attack. Call 911 right away. Symptoms include pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in your chest, back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms.
American College of Sports Medicine, et al. (2009). Position stand: Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(7): 1510–1530.
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Heather Chambliss, PhD - Exercise Science
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