Expert Interview: The Importance of Exercise for Older Adults
It’s no secret that as we age, our bodies start to break down – including decreasing body alignment, muscle atrophy, weight gain and more.
But it isn’t just the outside of our bodies that we should be concerned with, says Ray Margiano, CEO and founder of Foot Solutions and Balance Walking. Inactivity as you age has a big impact on your heart and other organs as well.
We recently checked in with Ray to learn why it’s so important that seniors stay fit. Here’s what he had to say:
Why are you so passionate about health and fitness?
I am 74 years young, a workaholic by choice. I love what I do, I travel extensively and noticed how much better I felt and looked when I stay active. Now, it is a way of life.
What do seniors risk by not staying active?
Think PREVENTION. Almost every major disease is caused or impacted by not staying active. Falling is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Staying active with programs like Balance Walking can substantially reduce your risks of falling or getting injured because of a fall. If you want to live a fuller, more active lifestyle, then you must do your part.
What are the most common excuses you hear from seniors for not exercising?
It hurts, I am too big (fat), I look funny, I am tired all the time. Yet, these are all the reasons why you should be moving and doing something you can do.
What precautions should seniors take to make sure they are exercising safely?
Obviously, if there is a health issue, you need to check with your doctor. DO NOT PUSH YOURSELF. You must adjust your exercise routine to where you are today. The biggest issue is trying to make up for lost time and trying to lose too much weight too fast.
What are some of your favorite exercises for seniors who might have impaired mobility?
With Walking Balance, we deal with a full range of issues – from people walking around with a cane to serious runners. This is an easy process that can be adjusted to each person’s specific needs and abilities.
What are your favorite resources for seniors who want to start a fitness regimen but don’t know where to begin?
We have a website with overviews on how to balance walk, and a number of coaches that do free introductory training. It is easy enough and simple to do in any place at any time. Just 15 minutes a day will give you noticeable results.
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