Did you know… women who are over 60 that engage in exercise for 30 minutes, three times per week, develop the heart, lungs, bones and muscles of a woman ten years younger? It’s true! That’s all it takes – taking the time to exercise for just a half-hour at a time, three times during your week. That’s not much work to shave off a decade – is it? Totally worth it!
Every other exercise session you should alternate between doing cardiovascular/aerobic exercises and strength training exercises (resistive exercise, such as weight lifting). For example, on Monday perform aerobic exercises, on Wednesday, perform strength training, on Friday perform aerobic exercises, on the following Monday perform strength training, and so on.
One thing that happens to us as we age is that our heart and blood vessels take on some changes. There’s a slight increase in the size of the heart and the heart wall thickens. Capillary walls thicken slightly as well. The aorta, the main artery from the heart, becomes thicker, stiffer and less flexible, which makes the heart work harder and increases blood pressure, which in turn may lead to a thickening of the heart muscle (hypertrophy).
However, exercise seems to delay, slow or even reverse this natural aging process, keeping your heart and blood vessels operating more like a younger person.
The best kind of activity for improving the health of your heart and blood vessels is to engage in cardiovascular aerobic activities such as: Walking, jogging, running, cycling, rowing, treadmill, elliptical, jumping rope, dancing and aerobics.
Basically, any kind of activity that increases your respiration and gets your heart rate up (within a safe range) can provide benefits if performed regularly, with a goal to work up to maintaining 20-30 minutes of continuous activity, three times per week.
As we age our muscle mass begins to decrease, we lose muscle tissue. The only way to slow or reverse this process is through resistive exercise and strength training. The best way is through weightlifting, but you can also engage in bodyweight resistive exercise or use elastic resistance bands. Putting stress on your muscles causes your body to rebuild them stronger, adding more muscle tissue.
As we age, our bones become more brittle. However, exercise can reverse this process. Your bones respond to stress by becoming thicker and stronger. When you engage in resistive exercises such as weightlifting or bodyweight resistance, it puts more stress on your bones, thus encourages the body to unleash processes that help keep bones strong.