Happy New Year! If you have a New Year's Resolution to increase your fitness level, here are a few types of exercises that are important:
Strength exercises build older adult muscles and increase your metabolism, which helps to keep your weight and blood sugar in check.
Balance exercise build leg muscles, and this helps to prevent falls. According to the NIH, U.S. hospitals have 300,000 admissions for broken hips each year, many of them seniors, and falling is often the cause of those fractures. Balance exercises will help you avoid problems as you age and can help you stay independent by decreasing your risk of falls.
Stretching exercises can give you more freedom of movement, which will allow you to be more active during your senior years. Stretching exercises alone will not improve your endurance or strength.
Endurance exercises are any activity - walking, jogging, swimming, biking, even raking leaves - that increase your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time. Build up your endurance gradually, starting with as little as 5 minutes of endurance activities at a time.