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Regular physical activity contributes to healthy aging by reducing your risk of disease, helping you feel better, and live longer. By slowly increasing your level of activity, you can improve your quality of life, handle day-to-day activities more comfortably, and keep your independence.
For older adults, it’s especially important to focus on activities that strengthen your heart and lungs, promote healthy and strong muscles and bones, and help ensure your joints and muscles are safe and healthy.
If you’re not physically active, have a low fitness level, or have physical limitations, start with a little bit of activity and build up slowly. Gradually increase:
- The number of times per week you’re active.
- The length of time you’re active.
- The amount of effort you put into being active.
There are many physical activities that can be adapted so they’re safe and effective for older adults. You can also choose exercise equipment that’s suited to the needs of older adults, like a recumbent bike (a bicycle that lets you recline against a back rest), a stationary bike or a tread-mill with a handrail.
Endurance fitness includes any activity that uses your body’s large muscle groups and helps you have a stronger heart and lungs. Learn what you should keep in mind if you plan to do endurance fitness activities.
Doing flexibility activities helps you have safe and healthy joints and muscles. Learn what you should keep in mind if you plan to do flexibility exercises.
Resistance training (also known as strength training, weight training, or weight lifting) is any activity that uses your muscles and improves your strength. Learn what you should keep in mind if you plan to do resistance training activities.
Public Health Agency of Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is the Federal Agency responsible for health promotion, including physical activity. Physical activity plays an important role in the health, well-being and quality of life of Canadians. Get tips to help improve and maintain your health by being physically active every day.