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Seniors can avoid injury by varying their exercise routines

February 26, 2013

Physical activity has long been recognized as a cornerstone of healthy aging, and while many older adults have taken that to heart, exercising later in life still presents some challenges. In particular, doctors have noticed an increase in the number of patients coming in with injuries to their tendons, joints and ligaments, spurring many experts to stress the importance of exercising wisely, CBS This Morning reports.

Often called 'boomeritis' by those in the medical community, the injuries should not deter seniors from exercising, but instead encourage them to change the way they go about doing things. Specifically, rather than sticking only to walking or jogging, it might be a better idea for older adults to give their aging joints a break by choosing another activity every now and then.

"Take running, for example. I see a lot of five-day-week runners. It's almost virtually impossible after a certain age to continue with that frequency, so I encourage people to do other things, biking, intense gym training, things that give you that high that we heard about that's associated with running exclusively," orthopedic surgeon Dr. Riley Williams told CBS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults 65 and older get around 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week, but stress that is not the only kind of exercise that seniors should focus on. According to the National Institutes of Health, it's also important for seniors to focus on strength-building activities because they are key to preventing muscle loss, which is a condition that can often make independent living difficult. Stretching and flexibility exercise should also be part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors because they can foster improved mobility and lower the risk of suffering a fall.