The most common New Year’s resolutions people make are to lose weight and be healthier.
It’s well known that exercise helps prevent or decrease the severity of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, anxiety, depression and it can also delay the onset of memory loss and some forms of dementia. However, an older person who wants to resolve to be healthier in 2013 faces the added pressure of making sure it’s done safely and in a way that won’t cause health complications over time.
The advice to anyone who starts a new exercise program or a change in diet is to always talk to a doctor first. All doctors will be happy a patient wants to make healthier choices, but they will have advice that is specific for you on what you should and should not do. For example, a person with a history of heart disease should be careful about lifting too much; a person with arthritis won’t want to start playing tennis; and a person with a lung condition will not want to start running if their route takes them through polluted areas.
New Year’s resolutions to exercise more often have a way of petering out as January wears on. To that end, the 20th Annual Healthy Weight Week is Jan. 20-26, just in time to give you that boost to keep working.
Additionally, older people may want to think outside the box for their exercise routines. Two good programs for seniors are Silver Sneakers (www.silversneakers.com) and Sit and Be Fit (www.sitandbefit.org).
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