As we journey every day towards health and wellness, it's important to know the exercise recommendations. Since my area of specialty is working with older adults, I will talk about the older adult recommendation.

Most of us want to delay that title of "older adult" as long as possible. As a fitness trainer, I think the title of older adult has more to do with a person's fitness level versus their actual age. I know many 70-year-old people that have better fitness levels than some 40-year-old people. If you are physically active but don't exercise, then you can benefit from following these older adult exercise recommendations.

Before we go any further, we need to define physical activity and exercise. I hear many people say they are physically active and I don't argue that. We all are physical active if we perform activities of daily living. When you get up and use energy to move around every day, you are being physically active.

Exercise, though, is a type of physical activity that has planned, structured and repetitive body movements. Walking to your car, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and gardening are examples of physical activity. Weight training or resistance training, jogging of sustained walking and aerobics classes are examples of exercise. To have optimal health, we not only need to be physically active, we need to exercise as recommended.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 2011 Position Stand focuses on exercise recommendations for older adults. ACSM recommends that older adults participate in a well-rounded exercise program weekly which includes

  • Cardiorespiratory (aerobic) exercise
  • Resistance (weight lifting) exercise
  • Flexibility (stretching) exercise
  • Neuromotor (motor skill) exercise

In my next column, I'll explain these exercise program recommendations for you in detail. Right now, it's time for me to get up from my chair and be physically active. After that I plan on exercising on my treadmill.

Are you planning to exercise today? I hope so. By the way, don't forget to eat well and sleep well.

Here's to your good health.

About the author: Jonathan Souder is the fitness director at Manor House, an ACTS Retirement-Life Community in Seaford. Email your questions to

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