Regular physical activity is key to healthy aging. Making exercise or other physical activity part of your everyday routine can help you avoid illness, stay independent and be able to live your best life.
We know how important it is for our members to have the resources and opportunities to make physical activity a regular part of their lives. Many SCAN plans include these benefits that can help you keep moving.
Learn more about the gym benefit your plan may offer and find locations near you.
Fitness Resources and Videos
There are lots of great free fitness resources available online. You can find the fun in your fitness again by building an exercise plan around what you love to do most. Take a look at some of these free videos that can jump start your fitness routine.
Endurance and Cardio
Strength and Resistance
What Physical Activity Can Do for You
Regular physical activity benefits older adults in many ways. As little as 30 minutes of movement several days a week can help you:
- Ease arthritis pain and symptoms
- Manage chronic conditions by lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
- Feel better and sleep better
- Prevent or delay onset of serious conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia
- Reduce the risk of a fall or a break. When you exercise regularly, your bones get stronger, you can move more freely and your balance is better—making it less likely you will fall or break a bone
Reduce your risk of falling with exercises like these:
- Exercise to Improve Your Balance (from Go4Life)
- Chair Rise Exercise (Chair Stands)
- Strength and Balance Exercises (from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association)
Click here to learn more about preventing falls and maintaining your mobility and independence.
How to Get Moving…and Get More From It
How to make your workouts work for you
Get a “prescription for exercise.” Talk to your doctor about an exercise routine that works for you and your health goals. For most people, it’s recommended to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as walking, several days a week. Depending on your health and fitness, you may need to start slowly at first. Then add time and intensity as you feel more comfortable.
Make a plan to be physically active that fits into your life and that you can follow. Set a goal to be more active most days of the week.
Focus on the four. Get more all-around benefit from your exercise routine by combining a variety of activities that focus on these things:
1. Building your endurance
2. Improving your balance
3. Making your muscles stronger
4. Helping your body be more flexible
Walking around the neighborhood.
Riding a bicycle, doing chair stands
Lifting weights, vacuuming
Find workouts that can work for your budget, too. Get Fit for Free for other ideas on how to get moving without spending a dime.
Staying Active with Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, regular exercise can help you take control of your life and your diabetes. They tell us that “along with your diet and medications, regular physical activity is an important part of managing diabetes or dealing with prediabetes.” Why? Because when you’re active, your cells can use insulin more effectively. So, you look and feel better. In fact, because of the increased sensitivity to insulin, physical activity can lower blood sugars for 24 hours, or even longer! *
And, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been active before, just that you get started now. Talk to your doctor about what would be good for you and then start slowly. But start. It can be as simple as takin short walks or taking advantage of your Fitness Membership benefit.
Take a moment to visit the American Diabetes Association’s website for some inspiration and ideas on great activities to start with.
More Resources to Get You Moving
Where to Go Online to Learn More
National Institute on Aging. Provides tips, resources and tools for seniors and caregivers about nutrition, exercise, fall prevention and staying motivated. Includes printable tip sheets, exercise videos and goal tracker. Also in Spanish.