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Seniors have wide variety of fitness goals

April 11, 2013

With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, the senior population is as high as it has ever been. This burgeoning demographic poses a number of challenges, and one of the biggest is how to help it stay physically fit. Seniors can engage in a wide range of physical abilities, and experts can tailor routines to help each individual senior enjoy healthy aging, Reuters reports.

Most seniors recognize that staying physically active is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, but some may be able to exercise more easily than others. Still, the numerous benefits of working out 30 minutes a day - from lowering the risk of heart disease to strengthening bones and muscles - are something that older adults of all abilities should be able to take full advantage of, and the key is to adapt.

"A very healthy 70-year-old can safely participate in high-intensity activity while a frail 60-year-old needs to lower the intensity," Dr. James Graves, Dean of the College of Health at the University of Utah, told the news agency. "My recommendation is to work with a personal trainer or group leader who has knowledge and qualifications to work with the elderly."

An effective exercise routine for seniors is comprised of a number of different components. In addition to aerobic activity, you should include elements of strength building, flexibility and balance, according to the National Institutes on Aging. Flexibility and balance exercises, which can even be as simple as stretching, are particularly helpful because they can reduce the risk of falls - something which impacts about one-third of the senior community each year.