It is 2017 another new year. Another list of resolutions and goals that we usually forget about by March is still fresh on our mind. What are your top three resolutions for this new year? For a great majority of the population one or more are related to personal health and weight loss. If these things are so important that we make them a priority every January what keeps us from getting something done about meeting those goals and fulfilling those resolutions..

let’s discuss and examine the top 10 reasons this is so important:

A recent study shows that 67% of the older population is sedentary for at least 8.5 hours every day. Just common sense would tell us that this is not a good thing for long term health. Our bodies were meant to move.

1.Quality of life improvement-Most older adults want as much functional independence as possible. Regular exercise with strength and balance training can help accomplish that. Be physically for at least 30 minutes daily and strength training at least twice per week .

2.Arthritis- exercise is crucial for arthritis management. Exercise can help lessen overall pain and stiffness associated with this disease.

3.Metabolic dysfunction with Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity. Type II diabetes and obesity are two closely related diseases in which the body is in metabolic dysfunction. Exercise can help maintain proper body weight and help regulate blood glucose and insulin levels to make the body more efficient

4.Cancer: Exercise has been shown to help improve overall cancer risk for a variety of different forms of Cancer. Studies have shown a 30-40% reduction in the risk of Breast cancer among women who perform moderate, regular exercise.

5.Hypertension:Excercise can help lower systolic blood pressure significantly through moderate intensity physical activity. Try breaking up exercise into three sessions throughout the day of at least ten minutes each to get the best results.

6.Depression: Exercise can have a very beneficial effect on personal “mood”. Studies indicate that group exercise classes among older adults can help reduce symptoms of depression by 30% or more. Even modest improvement in depressive symptoms can help maintain overall greater vitality and help prevent negative feelings or thoughts that are common with aging.

7.Dementia: Dementia has a wide range of mental disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. There is a great need to understand how to prevent this conditions and exercise is one prevention strategy that can help slow mental decline. Studies have shown a 66% reduction in risk of dementia when older adults performed moderate intensity exercise regularly.

8.Heart disease: Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. About one in four deaths is attributed to heart disease. Regular exercise can help with management of blood pressure and blood glucose and the reduction of LDL cholesterol.

9.Increase bone density and prevent Osteoporosis: This has become one of the major health problems of old age and affects some 20 million women and 5 million men. Osteoporoses also leads to more than 250,000 hip fractures each year. Exercise delays the onset by increasing bone density and strength.

10.Maintain balance and improve reflexes to prevent falls: the natural decline in balance and coordination can be mitigated or even prevented with proper strength and balance training.

If exercise is this important why don’t more people engage in at least some form of regular physical activity? I am glad you asked!  While this seems like a “no brainer” as I stated above 65% of the older population is sedentary. Here are some reasons that is the case:


1.Intimadation: Some may call it peer pressure but whatever you want to call it, many older adults are intimidated by the instructor or trainer or other class members that appear to know what they are doing or are more “fit” than they are. They feel totally alienated.

2.You are sure you will fail: You are amazed at what others can do that you feel you can’t do. You feel pressured and out of sync with everyone else in the class or out of sync  with the trainer.

3.Physical limitations make you feel inadequate. Many feel they are too old to exercise because of arthritis, bad knees, hips or other limitations. Guess what almost everybody has some type of limitation

4.I hate the mirror!: I look terrible and who wants to look at themselves for an hour? That alone is a good reason not to go to the gym or a class. The fact is no body is looking at you because they are too worried about themselves.

5.I hate the music!: I can’t hear the instructor, I don’t understand the words of the song. I don’t want to subject myself to that noise!  the good news is exercise does not have to be hard, fast or have “pounding” music to be beneficial.

6.I am too “down”: I have no will to leave home and go up there even though it is a good idea and deep down I know I should go. Find a workout partner that will encourage you to get up and get moving.

7.Since I don’t go on a regular basis, it feels like I am starting over every time I go. It shouldn’t be hard to schedule 2-3 hours a week to go to the gym or an exercise class but if you don’t enjoy going it is easy to schedule NOT to go.

So there you have it. While this is not a comprehensive list it does address the benefits and obstacles of senior adult fitness and exercise.  The good news if you can find the right class or trainer you will go  and without complaint. Make sure your spouse and or family support you and encourage you and each other to take charge of your health and fitness in 2017.