The National Institute of Aging (NIA), United States’ Department of Health and Human Resources, outlines the four types of exercises that can help improve human health and physical activity. They include endurance, which are activities that help to keep people healthy, improve fitness, and aid the performance of important daily tasks. Endurance exercises improve the health of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system such as brisk-walking or jogging; yard-work, mowing, raking, sweeping; dancing; swimming; biking; climbing stairs or hills; and playing tennis or basketball, among others. Efforts should be made to ensure building up of at least 150 minutes of activity per week that enhances breathing. People should be active throughout the day to reach their goals and avoid sitting for long periods. Strength exercises include lifting weights.
Strong muscles help to stay independent and make everyday activities a lot easier such as getting up from a chair, climbing stairs, and carrying groceries. Balance exercises help prevent falls, which is a common problem in older adults and have serious consequences. Many lower-body strength exercises improve body balance. Exercises that can promote balance include Tai Chi; a “moving meditation” that involves shifting the body slowly, gently, and precisely, while breathing deeply. Doing this involves having a sturdy chair or making a person nearby to hold on to but if an unsteady feeling is felt, there is the need to talk to a doctor, especially when one is not sure about a particular exercise. Stretching can improve flexibility and aid moving more freely and making it easier to reach down, to tie shoes or look over the shoulder when backing one’s car out of the driveway. While exercising, adequate attention should be paid to how one feels and the overall performance; what works for someone might not work for another person.
Therefore, to achieve good results with exercise, the following should be put into consideration: Set a goal by setting challenging goals and working towards their achievement. For example, one could determine to take a 30-minute to one hour walk daily or do 500 skips thrice a week. Be consistent: Consistency is necessary in order to achieve desired results but keep in mind that by not starting means delaying one from achieving desired results. Choose exercise wisely: Good core strength and exercises like plank or side plank would go a long way in improving balance, stability, and preventing low back injury. It is good to choose exercise activities and routines that work for one. In doing this, it is always better to start with indoor exercises like squatting, skipping, jogging round house compounds and lounges. Listening to music is also fun and interesting. Playing music while exercising prevents boredom hence, creating a workout playlist on the phone or any device and adding favourite songs could be refreshing.
Exercise safely by paying attention to the body and taking some rest when needed. Taking at least 30 seconds rest in between each workout and having enough sleep afterwards is helpful. In addition, a good diet with plenty of exercise would help to maintain good body and physical health. Regularly, it is nutritious to incorporate more vegetables and proteineous diet, take enough water, avoid carbonated drinks, processed food, white bread, red meat, and foods that are high in fat. Experts have recommended eating of healthy breakfast without overeating before going into a workout; consuming snacks such as fruit smoothie such as low fat yoghurt and energy bar, watching the portion size because eating too much before exercising could cause sluggishness, while eating too little might deprive one of the energy needed to keep feeling strong throughout workout.
In all, take a glass of water before every meal to help control appetite, eat in moderation after exercising to help muscles recover and to replace glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains carbohydrates and protein within two hours of exercise session, if possible. Appropriate after workout meals can include yoghurt and fruit, low fat chocolate milk. Post-workout recovery smoothie includes turkey on whole-grain bread with vegetables among other related foods. Drink enough fluid to prevent dehydration because water is generally known to be the best fluid to prevent dehydration. More importantly, as the world battles the challenge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it is advisable to eat right to boost the body immune system, exercise regularly to keep body in shape since health is wealth and fitness is life. No matter the age, efforts should be made to find activities that meet the human fitness needs. Always remember to stay healthy!