Senior Agenda Link

Senior Agenda airs live every Thursday morning at 10 am. Podcasts are also available.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Heart-Healthy Exercise for Older Adults

The American Heart Association recommends that older adults do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week or the equivalent of 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. 

The benefits of exercise for older adults with heart disease include the opportunity to optimize heart health, control diabetes, keep strength up, improve mood and promote independence.  It is especially important for older adults to work to maintain their strength and endurance since managing heart disease is a lifelong effort. 

These three cardiovascular exercises are heart-friendly for seniors:

Ø  Light-weight lifting
Ø  Yoga
Ø  Water aerobics

While it is true that many older adults face physical challenges to exercising due to osteoarthritis, risk of injury and the cumulative effects of aging, it is also true that the benefits of exercising greatly outweigh the risks. 

Aging brings an increased risk for heart disease and cardiovascular events.  In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death for adults over the age of 65.  That’s why understanding the value of a heart-healthy lifestyle is so important for older adults including our parents, spouses and ourselves. 

Some older adults believe that heart disease is an inevitable part of aging, but a heart-healthy lifestyle can help prevent heart disease.  Others underestimate the importance of heart health because they believe heart disease can be cured with surgery or medicine.  The truth is heart disease is a lifelong condition that never goes away once it presents.