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Senior Corner

Senior Corner: Are you getting enough exercise

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Senior Corner: Are you getting enough exercise

Both CDC and American Heart Association recommend a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week.

Welcome, dear readers. Let’s talk about ways of remaining active, strong, and independent as we get older.

Are you leading a healthy life, riding bikes, playing tennis, do you have some type of exercise you do during the week?

I’ve proven to myself that we really must remain physically active. It’s so easy to let this slide. After my knee surgery, 6 months ago, I find myself looking for excuses not to exercise ... such as. “I just don’t have the energy." Guess what, that energy just keeps slipping away if you allow it to. We need to have some form of exercise to keep us feeling alive and independent.  

I’ve always enjoyed living an active life. When I moved to Napa, I gathered a group of gals together and we formed a walking group. It was lots of fun. I’m really eager to become active, once again. I’m hoping some of you are in the same boat I am, so we can work on gaining strength again and make our lives so much more fun.

There’s much truth to the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. In this case, of course, we are referring to staying physically active, or we lose our strength and energy.

From the New York Times, under Phys Ed, we learn that the best time of the day to exercise is in the afternoon. “Folks at risk for diabetes had greater blood sugar control and lost more belly fat when they exercised in the afternoon than in the morning.

A question was asked, “Is it better to sleep in or work out? The answer was. We need both “Sleep and exercise are like food and water. When you look at the research, regular physical activity is important for high-quality sleep is important for physical performance,” says Cheri Mah, a sleep medicine researcher at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco.

Both CDC and American Heart Association recommend a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week, along with our seven-plus hours of sleep. Those are the bare-minimum goals when it comes to healthy rest and physical activity. “The real danger is when you only make adequate time for one of them.”

Getting back to physical activity, we certainly want to be active enough to keep up with our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Remember that we need to build up to at least 2.5 hours of activity a week that makes us breathe hard. Be active throughout the day and to reach this goal and avoid sitting for long periods of time. We’ll want to drink plenty of water when doing activities that make us sweat.

Strength exercises. Strong muscles help us to stay independent, make activities like getting up from a chair, climbing stairs, carrying groceries, easier. Also stronger muscles help with our balance. 

Remember, the bottom line for us is to ignore the numbers of our birthdays and stay as healthy and strong as we can for a much more fun life. Let’s start today.

See you next week. Have a healthy one.

I always enjoy hearing from you.

Betty Rhodes has been active on the Napa County Commission on Aging and the Senior Advisory Commission. Reach her at

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