The Magic Numbers: How to Keep Fit Over 65

The miracles of modern medicine mean Canadians are living longer than ever before, and staying healthy while they do it. That’s not say things don’t change, as we all know. Bodies change, as do abilities and motivations, but one thing that does not change is the need for people to stay physically active their entire lives. If you’re feeling somewhat sedentary as your golden years have dawned, let’s give you the basic rundown of how to go about getting you on your feet and adding years to your life.


First, don’t jump in with both feet. You know as well as anyone that your body’s not as elastic and durable as it once was, and that phenomenon is true of your organs, tissues, and body systems. If you’re going to get your whole body pumping on a higher level of exertion, you’ll want to ease into your new or improved routine. Going straight into a kilometer long jog or heavy weights may put strain on you if you go about it too quickly, even if your body can handle it.

Second, fuel your body with good food. We talked in some detail over on this post about thoughts on food and good nutrition, but the message in terms of fitness is simple: the more whole, unprocessed food you eat, especially vegetables and to a lesser extent fruit, the more you encourage your body to work properly and give you good, long lasting energy. A fresh made smoothie with lots of fresh fruit and vegetable will fuel you much more effectively than a candy bar. Not to mention the positive effects of the food itself!

On to the exercise itself. As per the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, there are some very convenient magic numbers to hit and keep your body primed to move for years to come.

150 is your first magic number. Specifically, that means 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week. Obviously, moderate to vigorous will mean different things to different people, but the point is to push yourself and elevate your heart rate for those periods. The other related magic number here is 10, since a minimum of 10 minutes of consecutive elevated heart rate is needed to actually yield positive benefits. When you push your cardiovascular system in this way regularly, essentially every part of your body’s function improves, from your heart to insulin levels to sleep to mood.

One more magic number as per the CSEP: 2 days per week seniors should use resistance or weight training to build muscle and bone mass. That’s right, cardio isn’t enough, your muscles and bones need resistance in order to keep their mass and strength, which is critical when it comes to preventing injuries.

Westman Village can help you achieve these goals, both through ongoing efforts from the larger Village Centre, and directly through helpful Journey Club staff. As the Concierge team can advise, there are gentle exercise sessions at the Village Centre every Tuesday morning, and an extra fun workout option of line dancing has just started on Thursday evenings.

If those times and sessions aren’t working for you, but you still feel motivated to get your body moving, Journey Club staff are always working on activities for Village residents. They are happy to work things out on a schedule that works for most people, and have the needs of seniors specifically in mind to boot. With all these options, how can you deny yourself the fun and health of a little extra heart pumping activity in your day?


Tags: Fitness, Health, Wellness, Seniors