Our bodies change as we age. There is nothing we can do about this basic fact. But those changes don't condemn senior citizens to sedentary lives. Individuals can take a variety of actions to remain fit at 70 years old.
Eat well. Eating a well-balanced diet can help you look and feel better and may reduce health risks such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, anemia and osteoporosis. Eating well will also provide you with more energy, which allows you to remain more active and further increase your fitness level. Be sure to obtain medical advice if you change your diet, but general guidelines for seniors include reducing sodium intake, eating seafood rather than red meat, and filling out your diet with fruits, vegetables and whole-grain bread. Also, eat a reasonable amount of food. Even if you eat well, excess calories can more easily lead to joint problems for seniors, as well as Type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
Take care of your brain. To remain mentally fit, the American Association of Retired Persons notes that active exercise can reduce the risk of dementia by 30 to 40 percent. The AARP also recommends that seniors learn new skills, perform meditation or other stress-reducing techniques, lead an active social life and maintain their vitamin levels, particularly vitamin B12.
Avoid falls. Even if you take good care of yourself, you may still lose some bone density as you age, making falls more dangerous. Exercise can improve your balance and make falls less likely. Additionally, be sure never to leave any tripping hazards on your home's floors. Try not to walk while wearing multifocal glasses, because you may not see hazards on the ground when you're looking down through the lower part of those lenses.
Exercise. A 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that seniors who worked out at a gym at least twice per week spent an average of $1,252 less in annual health costs than seniors who worked out less frequently, or not at all. Seniors will typically benefit from lower impact activities such as walking, swimming, lawn work and bicycling (either on a standard or a stationary bike). Tennis and golf are more strenuous activities that many people continue to enjoy at age 70. Additionally, many seniors will benefit from weight training. For example, leg press exercises performed with 60 to 70 percent of an individual's body weight helped seniors improve their walking ability.
- Go slowly if you're starting or increasing an exercise regimen. Drink plenty of water when exercising, and do warm-up and cool-down stretches before and after exercise, respectively. If you've had a hip replacement, avoid activities in which you must cross your legs or bend more than 90 degrees from the hips. In addition to seeking medical advice before you begin, consult a doctor after you've started an exercise program if you have any new, undiagnosed symptoms, and if you feel dizziness or suffer pain in your arms, shoulders, neck and chest while working out. Also, watch out for new joint pain or swelling.