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Planning for a healthier you in 2016!

Planning for a healthier you in 2016!

The start of a new year comes with goals and resolutions to be a better version of you. Here are some practical, straightforward tips on how much exercise you should be getting. Let’s strive for a healthier version of ourselves in 2016!

Q. I am over the age of 65. How much exercise do I need?

A. For adults age 65 and older, the Centers for Disease Control recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, and muscle-strengthening activities that will work your major muscle groups (legs, hips, back abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on 2 or more days a week. Two hours and 30 minutes may seem like a long time, but it figures out to 150 minutes total, and it is fine to do only 20 minutes at a time. Break it up and have fun!

Q. What is considered ‘moderate-intensity aerobic activity’?

A. Your 150 minutes (about as much time as it takes to watch a good movie) of healthy activity each week could consist of brisk walking, mowing the lawn with a push lawnmower, deep cleaning the house, or stretching and yoga exercises.

Q. I like to work up a good sweat. How long do I need to work out to stay healthy?

A. It is recommended that seniors age 65 and older have 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week, and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days that work all major muscle groups.

Q. What are examples of vigorous-intensity aerobics?

A. If you like to work up a sweat, you are probably a runner or athlete. Jogging, basketball, soccer, swimming laps or long-distance cycling are all activities that will keep your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. If you have questions about your ability to take on one of the above, make sure you run it by your general practitioner before pushing yourself.

Q. How do seniors benefit from aerobic exercises?

A. All ages benefit from regular sessions of exercise daily to weekly. Exercising does not have to consist of high-intensity aerobics. Daily periods of walking and/or muscle strengthening exercises yield many great benefits, like the ones listed below:

  • Helps maintain the ability to live independently and reduces the risk of falling and fracturing bones.
  • Reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and of developing high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes.
  • Can help reduce blood pressure in some people with hypertension.
  • Helps people with chronic, disabling conditions improve their stamina and muscle strength.
  • Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and fosters improvements in mood and feelings of well-being.
  • Helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
  • Helps control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.

For more information and tips on the best exercise options for you, visit the Centers for Disease Control website at

Since 1975, the VNA has been committed to bringing skilled, compassionate, and cost-effective home health care to Indian River County patients. For more information about VNA services, call 772.567.5551 or visit

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