Q: What are the benefits of regular exercise as an older adult?
A: Older adults benefit from regular exercise just as much as younger folks. Regular exercise slows, even reverses, the effects of aging, benefiting you physically and psychologically. It builds strength, endurance and self-esteem, and reduces stress.
Benefits include lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, higher good (HDL) cholesterol, higher bone density, weight loss or maintenance, controlled diabetes and lowered risk of osteoporosis.
Q: How do you adjust to exercising in warmer weather?
A: It's important to adjust before summer begins. Exercise in the early morning or evening, as these will be the coolest, most comfortable times of day.
Q: What should I wear while exercising?
A: Wear loose, light-colored clothing, a protective hat or visor, sunscreen and supportive shoes. Avoid long, thick pants or stockings. Do not wear dark-colored fabric, which absorbs more heat.
Q: Staying hydrated is important during exercise. What signs should I look out for?
A: Dehydration can be a serious problem, so make sure you are hydrated throughout your day. While exercising, pay attention to signs of fatigue, such as dizziness, headaches, cramps or thirst. If you are thirsty, this is a sign that you already are dehydrated. Have a bottle of water handy while exercising.
Q: What if I do not want to exercise outside? What are my options?
A: Try walking in malls, which are safe, flat and climate-controlled. Or consider exercise programs and classes at your local gym, community center or hospital.
Q: What is HAPI?
A: Palmetto Health's Healthy Aging Program Initiative (HAPI) offers a variety of group classes for all ages and ability levels, on land and in water. Classes are offered in an ongoing, four-week long series. For more information, call 296-2273 or visit www.palmettohealth.org.