4 Reasons Cardio is Essential for Fitness as We Get Older

You’re not too old to do Cardio!  What are you talking about?

I don’t understand why people are telling me that we are too old to do cardio exercise!  It boggles my mind that they think age is an opt-out ticket for quality of life.  Does this mean that at a certain age we are to give up, throw in the towel?  Well not me, and I’m 62.  I get so pissed off at these people, and most of them are my age, some even younger!

Cardio exercise ihalf2006s important for everyone, especially for those of us who have been around for more than half a century.  Here are 4 good reasons why cardio is essential for fitness after 60:

  1. Physical StrengthAs weage it is essential to keep our muscles toned as this improves our muscle strength and flexibility. Our movements are easier as our bones build up which helps us decrease the risk of injury from a fall or an awkward movement.  Cardio also helps us with weight control, as diet alone isn’t enough to keep our bodies strong and healthy.  Our endurance improves with cardio exercising, which strengthens our heart and helps us reduce the risk of heart disease.  Cardio improves our overall fitness level, which promotes healthier, injury free and longer lives.
  1. MentalStrength – Cardio provides us the opportunity to strengthen our mind. When we are focusing on something happening in the present, we are being mindful.  Our mind gets a break from all of the thoughts and ideas constantly fighting for our attention.  The clutter is eliminated during cardio exercise as we are focusing on the activity, our body movements and any
    equipment we are using.  Scientists say that being mindful has emotional benefits such as stress relief, increased patience, and better focus and control of thoughts.  All of this helps us understand things with more clarity and awareness, and helps us make better decisions.
  1. Positive Atitude – Doing cardio exercise gives us a sense of accomplishment; that we are doing something good. It makes us feel good, strong and proud of ourselves.  We want to do it again and again to have these good feelings.  As well, the mindful state we have during cardio exercise helps us maintain a positive attitude.  Having a positive outlook on life keeps our stress levels under control and helps us deal with life’s challenges.
  1. Participating – It is important as we age to participate in activities and engage with others. Cardio provides a perfect opportunity for do this.  Most cardio activities can involve a partner or a group of people.  This interaction with others helps us fight the loneliness and depression that can negatively affect us, as we grow older.

What are the best cardio choices for those of us over 60, especially if joining a Health or Fitness Club is too expensive?  Here are 4 of the many cardio exercises you can choose from:

  • Walking – This is the easiest cardio exercise as it can be done anywhere. It is also inexpensive because it only requires walking shoes, or shoes with good support.  You can simply go out your door and walk around the neighbourhood.  You can also head to a local Mall where you’ll see others walking, not shopping.  Other walking options include bike trails, school tracks and the walking sightseeing routes that many cities provide for tourists.
  • Bicycling – Like walking, you can bike just about anywhere. If you don’t want to bike alone, thimg_3868ere are many local bike clubs and weekend ride groups to join.  You could even try riding a big tricycle, the bike that is gaining popularity with the over 60 crowd.
  • Swimming – You can go to a public pool if you don’t have access to water or a pool where you live. Forget about what you look like in a bathing suit, you are there for the exercise.  Doing laps, even if you do the dog paddle, is a great cardio workout.  Treading water and/or exercises in the water are also a good ways to reap the benefits of cardio.
  • Running – The beauty of running is that you can do it whenever you want. Run at an easy pace remembering that it isn’t a race.  To determine if you’re running too fast, try the talk test.  If you’re too winded to speak, you need to slow down.  Smile and say hi to other runners and pretty soon you’ll have a running buddy.

Don’t listen when they tell you you’re too old for cardio exercise.  They are so wrong.  Pick your exercise, drink lots of water, and have fun, as you get stronger, healthier and happier!

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This article was published by Sixty and Me, a website and newsletter specializing in being passionate about living well, embracing change, trying new things, meeting new friends and exploring new lifestyles. Please click this link to access this article in Sixty and Me.

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