Never Too Old to Exercise

October 18, 2013

Staying active and healthy is a priority for Arthritics

in Action participants at Mercy Health for Life

Proper nutrition and adequate physical activity are important at any age but can play a critical role in our lives as we age. Millions of older adults are taking stock of their health and hitting the gym to get the physical activity they need to stave off chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and high blood pressure. Regular physical activity has beneficial effects on most (if not all) organ systems, and consequently prevents a broad range of health problems and diseases.

You’re never too old to exercise. Physical activity is likely to help keep you feeling young versus living a sedentary life. Activities that can help build muscle strength, improve balance, and promote walking significantly reduce falls in older persons. Whether you enjoy walking on the treadmill, riding the stationary bike or taking group exercise classes, it’s important to keep moving.

If you are new to exercise or haven’t exercised in a long time, be sure to consult your physician before starting a program. Here are some helpful tips for staying active:

• Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, on five or more days

• Include strength training exercises in your regular workouts at least twice a week to improve and maintain muscular strength and endurance

• Make sure physical activities that enhance and maintain flexibility are part of your routine

• If you have difficulty with your mobility, perform moderate amounts of low-impact activities such as swimming, water exercises or stretching

• Gentle forms of yoga and tai chi help to promote flexibility, improve balance and increase strength

The SilverSneakers program offered at Mercy Health for Life in Fort Scott has been proven to reduce health care costs by improving the health and well being of members, helping them become active and motivating them to stay that way. With the SilverSneakers premier network, members have access to a variety of participating locations throughout the country, so if you’re a senior on-the-go, you may be eligible to exercise at other fitness centers too.

At Mercy Health for Life, members may enroll in fitness classes such as Yoga, Arthritics in Action, Zumba, Dance Cardio Fitness, Spin Bike, and Cardio Circuit. The state-of-the-art cardio fitness equipment includes individual TV monitors so you can watch your favorite program without interruptions.

To learn if you are eligible for SilverSneakers, please contact your health plan or visit Health for Life located on the lower level of Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott Ks. For more information on the program, call toll-free 1-888-423-4632 or visit

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