Being physically active is an important part of healthy aging and helps to improve and maintain independence. Regular physical activity maintains strength, flexibility, balance, mobility, and mood. Older adults who are physically active have lower rates of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, falls, and some cancers.
The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults ages 65 years and older recommends that adults in this age group accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week. In addition, adding muscle and bone strengthening activities at least 2 days per week is beneficial. The guidelines also encourage older adults to look at their whole day – to move more, sit less, and sleep well.
The key to staying active is choosing an activity that is enjoyable and building it into your routine. Inviting a friend or partner to join in can increase accountability and improve social connections. Dancing, gardening, walking, or bowling are among the many to choose from. No matter the age, it is never too late to start.