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Back to Fitness Time

Back-to-school time isn’t just about the rigors of classroom learning for kids. Fall is a great time for older adults to get back into the routine of fitness.

A structured fitness program can be helpful at any age. If you haven’t exercised in years, or if you have medical conditions, there are still ways to become physically active and back on track toward a healthier you. Make back-to-school time back-to-fitness time this year.

Older adults need at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity plus muscle strengthening activities two or more days a week. That’s the equivalent of sitting in the theater and watching a movie. If you aren’t ready for 30+ minutes of activity at a time, break it up into 10 minute blocks of moderate-to-vigorous effort throughout the week. Yes, you may even be able to do some of it in front of the TV!

Take it easy on the joints:
Choose water exercises (swimming, water walking) or non weight-bearing exercises (bicycling, rowing, elliptical machines). Talk to your doctor about strengthening your bones with some weight-bearing exercises too, like walking or jogging.

Help yourself recover from illness:
Talk to your health care providers about any precautions you should take, but generally speaking, regular exercise often speeds up the recover process after a serious illness including stroke, heart attack and joint-replacement. See if it might be best for you to start in a medically supervised setting.

Get enough cardio:
Start with as little as five minutes, then work up to 30 minutes a day of cardio work at least five days a week. In as little as 6 weeks you’ll feel the difference in your stamina.

Build strength:
Add strengthening exercises to your cardio workout twice a week, leaving at least 24 hours between sessions. Strength training can help you regain lost muscle mass, increase your metabolism, improve bone density and develop greater balance

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