She could deal with constantly forgetting her shopping list, and she'd made a habit of writing down where she'd parked her car, each and every time. But in her mid-50s, Janis Mara's memory problems started costing her money. Late fees began piling up because she forgot to pay her bills.
"Over time, it really intensified," she says. "I wanted to think I was just getting older, but my fear was that it was Alzheimer's."
After bugging her HMO for an MRI, Mara discovered that her lapses weren't anything...
There are many reasons you should stay physically active, especially if you want to live a long life.
It can help:
Keep your bones, muscles, and joints healthy
Lower your chances of things like diabetes, colon cancer, and osteoporosis
Lower blood pressure
Manage stress and improve your mood
Ease symptoms of anxiety and depression
Lower your risk of heart disease
Manage chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes, by improving symptoms like stamina, joint swelling, pain, and muscle strength
With balance, so you're less likely to fall and fracture bones
How Much Exercise?
Sometimes as you get older, you may be a bit fearful of exercise. Maybe you think you might hurt yourself. You may believe you have to join a gym. Or you may not be sure what exercises you should do.
The key thing isn't how or where you get active, it's just to start moving.
Healthy adults should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, aerobic activity every week. Sure, you can do that in exercise classes. But you can also get it by brisk walking. It's also important to do movements that work all your major muscles at least 2 days a week. Also try to do flexibility exercises 2 or 3 days a week to improve your range of motion.
Though 150 minutes sounds like a lot, you don't have to get it in big chunks. You can take a 10-minute walk around the block or spend 10 minutes sweeping the porch. It all adds up.
Feeling really motivated? You'll get even more health benefits if you work up to 300 minutes or more of exercise a week.
But a simple goal is to try to get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days. You may be able to do that on some weeks and not others. Remember, it's a goal and not a rule. Do what works for you.