By Sylvia Dickens

For many seniors, fitness is a vague concept that just doesn’t seem to fit their lifestyle. Young people enjoy fitness. Seniors enjoy less physical lifestyles. The problem is that while you might not think you have to worry, lack of fitness can have a dramatic impact on your life.

What’s more, your current daily activities can be contributing to any sleep disturbances that you might be having. Improper sleep is a common problem among seniors, but it doesn’t have to be.

First, let’s look at the problems caused by not adding fitness to your schedule.

Sleep, as we already discussed, is just one. Others risks include obesity, Alzheimer’s and memory loss. You’ll be glad to know that these can be put at arms length through proper exercise.

Diet and exercise can help in all of these areas. Now, if you are overweight, cut down on the unhealthy fats and sugars that abound in so many foods today.

Dieting isn’t enough. You need to exercise, and aerobics is an excellent one.

Don’t worry. Aerobics doesn’t mean bouncing up and down like a banshee. It simply means doing exercises that boost your heart rate, breathing and circulation. That can involve many simple movements done repetitively.

In fact, researchers have discovered that stretching regularly can improve your sleep and circulation. But you want to do more than that if you can. Besides, physical exercise provides more benefits.

You want to bend your joints, flex your muscles to keep them supple and healthy with good blood flow. That’s where aerobics comes in.

Why aerobics? It is one of the best forms of exercise for boosting your circulation, which means getting more oxygen throughout your body.

Aerobics comes in many forms.

Fitness centers usually offer classes that involve bending, stretching, bouncing, stepping, twisting, turning and even dancing. These classes might be a bit excessive for you. Fortunately, there are less vigorous aerobics exercises you can do.

One great exercise that is popular in China is Tai Chi. This involves slow, steady movements that actually boost your circulation and heart rate. It doesn’t look like these motions would do much of anything, but they can be quite challenging because they are done so slowly.

It takes more energy to slowly raise your arm than it does to lift it quickly.

Swimming, cycling and treadmills are other aerobic exercises most people can handle. The benefits are many. Swimming is great for people who are overweight or have joint problems because the water makes you buoyant. Cycling is probably the most physical in that it requires considerable pressure with the legs and knees.

Treadmills can provide easy exercise for seniors because you can set them to a steady easy stroll and increase it as your fitness improves.

If you do not have access to any of these, walking works just as well. Get together with a few fellow seniors and take a walk around your favorite areas every morning for about an hour. This is all you need to improve your sleep.

It is important to do the exercise in the morning, rather than the afternoon and certainly not at night. The later in the day you do your aerobics, the more problems you will have in getting to sleep and staying asleep throughout the night.

Researchers also discovered that you gain more benefit from the earlier workouts than the later ones.

Start easy is good advice for seniors. Fitness is important at any age, so it is best to slowly work up to a higher level to prevent accidents and injury.

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