1. WALK WITH A PURPOSE
A Japanese company that started selling pedometers in the 1960s called them “manpo-kei,” which meant 10,000-step meter. Subsequent studies confirmed that those of us who take that many steps a day have lower blood pressure, more stable glucose levels and better moods. But, you don’t have to briskly walk precisely 5 miles each day if you’re doing other exercises, say swimming, lifting weights, cycling, or sprinting short distances. Just know that it’s crucial to really get moving. Remember, not like a snail, but energetically.
2. FORTIFY YOUR MUSCLES AND BONES
We lose muscle tone and bone strength the older we get (on average, about 30% of our strength leaves us between the ages of 50 and 70), which can make physical tasks more difficult and taxing on our bodies, even those that used to be second nature. “Exercise” doesn’t mean training for the marathon or an Olympic team. Low-impact, weight-bearing and cardio exercise can help strengthen muscles (and that includes the heart muscle), keep bones strong, and improve joint mobility, explains Dr. Peggy Yih, an internist with the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health in New York. Stronger muscles and bones also make us less vulnerable to falls and debilitating fractures.