How physical therapists help you stay fit after 50
(BPT) - Most of us know that physical activity provides outstanding benefits, such as maintaining a healthy weight, reducing belly fat, increasing bone density, improving cognitive function and improving sleep quality. But remaining physically active as you age can also help guard against certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some cancers. People who are most fit at midlife experience better health and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases after the age of 65, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
At 78 million strong, baby boomers are a generation known for redefining aging. Although boomers are more health conscious, educated and financially secure than previous generations, America’s worsening obesity epidemic has also touched those in this age group and threatens their long-term health and the active lifestyles they embrace. To promote healthy aging, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has launched a new initiative, Fit After 50, to provide baby boomers with practical tips and useful information to help them maintain the motion and mobility needed to engage in regular physical activity and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
According to APTA, adults should engage in aerobic and muscle strengthening activities on a weekly basis. This involves at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of the two, each week. Moderate-intensity activities, done for at least 10 minutes each time, may include brisk walking, biking on relatively flat surfaces or general gardening. Muscle-strengthening exercises that work the arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, hips, back and legs — the major muscle groups — should be done at least twice per week. In addition, stretching exercises to ensure adequate flexibility are important. For tips and videos about physical therapy for a variety of activities and conditions, visit www.moveforwardpt.com/fitafter50.
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