In last weeks blog I highlighted the benefits of beginning or continuing a strength training regime as we get older.

Are there also benefits to undertaking a program of cardiovascular activity as we age or even at any age?


As you age, losses in aerobic capacity and muscle strength can reduce your endurance and stamina.

We all probably start taking things easier as we get older and begin to enjoy the nice things in life like more food or more time in front of the tv.

Surveys show that only 30 percent of adults aged 45-64 follow a regular exercise plan yet this increases to 32 percent of adults aged 65 and older.

Between the ages of 65 and 75 walking and gardening are, by far, the most popular physical activities.

By the age of 75, about one in three men and one in two women engage in no physical activity at all.

Not doing any physical activity can be bad for you, no matter what your age or health condition.

Benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise

As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

It can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.

Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none at all. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.

Health Check

Before embarking on any new exercise routine, a doctor should perform a full medical examination and provide individualized guidelines as necessary.

Types of Cardiovascular Activity

Aerobic activity or "cardio" gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster. Should it be cutting the lawn, going to the shops, having a swim as long as it is being undertaken at a moderate or vigorous pace.

In a previous blog I mentioned how I utilise HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) methods but this may be daunting for a beginner, or someone who has limitations such as being older, overweight, with underlying health conditions or having sustained an injury.

Lower intensity methods may be more appealing therefore and recommended is at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week or if you can manage a bit more intensity an hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging cycling or running) every week.

These should be combined with a strength training program for the health benefits as we age as mentioned in my last blog.

Are you active enough for your age?

Author's Bio: 

My name is Kenny McDowell - 50 years young ! I was fat not so long ago and have in just 2 years transformed my physique from what it was losing 60 lbs on the way to become a champion fitness model. To find out how I did it and see if you can do the same - just visit My Story page