The American Heart Association recommends that seniors perform at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity five times per week, for a total of 150 minutes per week to improve endurance. If you increase the intensity to a vigorous level, you'll need to clock 20 minutes of exercise per day for five days. A combination of both moderate and vigorous intensity activities is also suitable. Performing aerobic activity into old age can help you to maintain and even build your endurance. Start off slowly and build your endurance over time to stay safe.
Warm up for five minutes and stretch your muscles before every exercise session. When you are finished, cool down and stretch your muscles again.
Gauge the intensity of your exercise by performing the talking test. If you can speak in your normal voice without struggle, you are mostly likely exercising at a moderate pace. If it is difficult to hold a conversation but not impossible, you are exercising at a vigorous intensity. Lower the intensity if you find it difficult to speak at all or are gasping for breath.
Speak to your doctor first before starting a new exercise program to assess your fitness level.
Go for a walk every day. Not only is walking considered an aerobic activity, but also it gives you a chance to get out in nature for some fresh air. Walk in the park, around the block a few times or at the gym, indoor track or mall if the weather is too hot or inclement.
Go swimming or try a water aerobics class. Exercising in the water is extremely gentle on your joints, so it comes highly recommended for aging, sensitive joints. You'll get a full body, effective workout without stressing your body.
Go dancing or join a dance class. Dust off your dancing shoes and get your heart pumping by dancing to your favorite music -- with or without a dancing partner. There are numerous styles of dance to choose; from slower waltz and ballroom dancing to fast Latin dancing classes. Pick a dance style that suits your level of fitness.
Ride a bike. Many seniors ride a bicycle for transportation, leisure, exercise or a combination of all three. Cycling elevates your heart rate, and you can control the intensity by riding as fast or slowly as you want. If you don't want to ride a bike outside, consider using a stationery bicycle at home or your local gym.
Walk up and down your steps at home. You don't need a gym membership or fancy equipment to complete this exercise, just your own two feet. Walk up and down the steps for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, or break it up into smaller sessions. Walking up the steps also tones your leg and buttock muscles.
Nicole Carlin is a registered yoga teacher. Her writing has been published in yoga and dance teacher training manuals for POP Fizz Academy. Carlin received a Masters of Arts in gender studies from Birkbeck University in London and a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia.