Physical fitness is important at any age, so seniors should not think that abandoning physical activity is acceptable. In fact, regular physical activity is more important than ever as we age, even if we can't continue at activity levels we achieved when we were younger.

As we age and allow ourselves to become less active, we start to deteriorate literally from lack of use. Atrophy sets in quickly when muscles are not active. Bones begin to lose density when they are not challenged with sufficient load, and naturally, the more these things occur, the higher the opportunity for sickness to set in. When you are out of shape, even a minor illness can have long term debilitating effects.

Virtually any activity that is appropriate for average individuals is suitable for seniors. That means, walking, swimming, weight training, martial arts, cycling, and anything else you can think of. You may not be able to run a marathon or set weight lifting records, but every effort you make to remain active preserves your health and prolongs your healthy life, so you can enjoy your family and friends.

Here are some things seniors can do to increase their physical activity level:

  • Handle yard work yourself instead of hiring a neighbourhood kid to do it. 
  • Walk to the store instead of driving. 
  • Go to your local mall early in the morning during the weekday and walk in a circuit, using the steps to go from level to level. It's okay to window shop while your there, but stay away from the fast food wing!
  • Adopt a stretching routine to remain limber.
  • Adopt a resistance training routine, preferably at a gym, but at least something you will stick to at home, like a home gym, or dumbbells, or anything else you can do on your own, or with a partner.
  • Get a workout partner who will take walks with you, and hold you accountable to your fitness goals and routine.
  • Take your pet for a walk instead of just letting it out in the yard.
  • Coach a children's sports team. That's enough to keep you young!
The main thing is to get up and do something. Don't settle for sitting on the couch watching television. If you keep yourself fit, your grandchildren and you will enjoy the beautiful years you have to give them. So, get up and do something!