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It’s a simple fact of life that the older we get, the more and more challenging it is to keep our lifestyles active. Having the desire to keep our bodies and minds sharp is great, and an important first step, but sometimes mustering the motivation and energy to act on those desires is a different matter entirely. Fortunately, there are plenty of activities that don’t require all the exuberance of youth but can still be very helpful in keeping us active and healthy as we grow older.

Oftentimes, vigorous exercise such as jogging or weight-lifting can be too difficult or rough on the body for people in their later years. Not only does walking require no preparation or equipment, but it has been shown to help us live longer, in addition to lowering stress and increasing the flow of hormones that make us happy. Plus, it’s an excellent way to get outside on a beautiful day!

For many older people, regular yoga can be a bit too challenging or hard on the joints and muscles, but lowering the intensity can turn it into an excellent activity for middle-aged or elderly people looking for physical exercise. Yoga can have many benefits, such as improving balance and posture, keeping our joints and bones healthy, and even clearing the mind.

Keeping the body active as we age is very important, but it’s also crucial that we don’t neglect the mind. Playing chess, or any game of strategy really has been shown to improve cognitive health, and even strengthen memory. In addition to these kinds of games, other activities have been shown to have similarly positive effects on the brain. Some great examples are learning to play a new instrument, learning to speak a new language, or completing puzzles, such as crosswords or sudoku.

Another example of a beneficial low-difficulty exercise is the use of resistance bands. They are great for keeping muscles active as we age and staving off the threat of atrophy. Plus, they’re extremely portable and versatile!