Exercises You Can Do at Any Age

We have written extensively about the importance of exercising. Regular exercise has numerous benefits for physical and mental health, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, improving bone density and muscle strength, and boosting mood and cognitive function.

The great news is it doesn’t have to be strenuous. You can reap the benefits of exercise at any age. What matters is that you get moving.


This is one of the easiest and most accessible exercises for people of all ages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), brisk walking can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The Mayo Clinic suggests that walking can help maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones, and improve balance and coordination. Walking can be done anywhere and anytime, making it a great exercise for everyone from children to seniors.

Strength training

Strength training is important for maintaining muscle mass and bone density, which can help prevent falls and fractures as you age. The Mayo Clinic recommends strength training exercises such as weightlifting, resistance band exercises, and bodyweight exercises. Strength training can be done at home or at a gym, making it a versatile exercise option. They also have a series of videos to show you the proper technique for all types of exercises.

If you don’t have weights or exercise equipment, a full milk jug weighs 8.5 pounds, which you can curl to strengthen your biceps. Use your kitchen chairs to do tricep dips. You can do resistance exercises by holding the end of a towel in each hand and pulling. Also, hold a broom behind your shoulders and do twists at the waist.


Yoga is a low-impact exercise that can improve flexibility, balance, and coordination. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga is a gentle exercise that can be done at any age and can be modified to suit different abilities. Better yet, you don’t need a gym membership to get started. YouTube is home to thousands of free video classes for every age.


Most people see cycling as an intense activity done with special outfits on bikes costing thousands of dollars. It doesn’t have to be like that. At its most basic level, it is a low-impact exercise that can be done outdoors or indoors on a stationary bike. It is a way to improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and increase muscle strength.

Tai chi

Tai chi was developed as a martial art but has evolved to become a gentle exercise that combines slow, flowing movements with deep breathing and meditation. Tai chi can improve balance and flexibility, reduce stress, and increase muscle strength. Tai chi can be done at any age and is particularly beneficial for older adults who may be at risk of falls. You can find free, outdoor lessons for beginners here.


You don’t need to know any steps to dance. You just need to let the music move you. Better yet, anyone can dance. It promotes cardiovascular health, increases muscle strength, and improves balance and coordination. As a social activity, it’s also a great way to connect with others.


Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints and is recommended by both the Mayo Clinic and American Heart Association. It can improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle strength, and improve flexibility. Swimming can also be a fun activity for all ages, making it a great exercise for families to do together. Click here to find community pools in your neighborhood. The YMCA of Los Angeles also offers water exercises classes, swimming lessons, and “Open Swim” lanes.

Helping You Get Healthy

AltaMed can help you determine the best exercises for your lifestyle. Contact your doctor if you have a serious health condition like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, or high blood pressure, or if you’ve recently had cancer treatment. Call us at (888) 499-9303 to make an appointment.

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Children Playing Soccer

Avoiding and Treating Sports-Related Injuries

Summer is here and you want to make the most of your time in the sunshine. There are games to play, fun to have, and activities abound.

Kids and adults participate in different summer leagues, but there are also lots of opportunities for pickup sports — soccer, softball, basketball — and activities in general — hiking, swimming, and biking.

Stretch Before Starting

Just because it’s warm outside doesn’t mean your body is warmed up for whatever activity you have in mind. You need to stretch your muscles before any activity if you’re not already a regular athlete. Stretching helps prevent muscle strains and sprains which can potentially sideline you, forcing you to miss big chunks of your summer.

Boy Playing Baseball

Get Equipped

Some activities require special safety equipment. Activities like baseball, softball, biking, and skateboarding should be done with helmets worn to protect your head. Mouthguards provide extra protection for baseball and skateboarding.

Shoes can be important for safety. Cleats for baseball, softball, soccer, or football will give you better traction and keep you from sliding around on the field. Wearing shoes with ankle support will help you playing basketball or volleyball. You also want to wear durable shoes or hiking boots if going on a walk over rugged terrain.

Be sure to wear sunscreen daily to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Also, never swim alone; be sure there is a lifeguard on duty or go with a friend.

Rest, Recharge and Refuel

When you were a kid, it seemed like you could go all day, every day and never need a break. But even if you feel that way today, or your kids insist they can keep going, it’s good to work in time to rest.

You’re expending valuable energy regardless of the activity. Overdoing it can lead to a potential injury from overuse.

Make sure you refuel with a snack such as fruit. And be sure to drink plenty of water. Energy and sports drinks may be okay when you’re recovering from a workout, but nothing beats water when you’re in the middle of an activity. It will keep you from dehydrating and overheating.

Listen to Your Body

There is nothing wrong with taking a break from the action, especially if you’re starting to feel your muscles get tight, or you start feeling pain or swelling in your joints.

Pain is your body’s way of letting you know you might need to stop. Heed those warnings. Failure to do so could lead to a more serious injury that could require a trip to the doctor or the emergency room.

Baskeball Teacher

Treating Injury When It Occurs

Despite your best efforts, it’s likely you or someone close to you will end up bruised, scraped, sprained, or even with a concussion from playing sports. Here’s what you should do in each situation.

  • Bruising — The most common happens to soft tissue. It changes color, there’s some swelling, and it’s painful to touch. These take time to heal. Rest whenever possible. Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time several times a day. Wrap the area to reduce swelling and elevate the bruised area above your heart.
  • Cuts and scrapes — Make sure whoever treats the area has clean hands to keep from spreading infection. Apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage to stop the bleeding. Clean the wound with running water and clean the area around the wound with soap. Apply an antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly to help prevent scarring then cover the wound with a bandage or clean gauze. Change the dressing daily and get a tetanus shot if the wound is deep or was dirty and it’s been at least five years since your last shot. See a doctor if you see redness, swelling, drainage or feel increased pain.
  • Sprains and strains — Sprains are injuries to tissue connecting bones. Strains are injuries to the muscle or the tissue connecting muscle to bone. Sprains are most common in your ankle, wrist, knee, or thumb. It’s important to ice the affected area, elevate it, and wrap it to reduce swelling. Most sprains take time. Severe sprains may require surgery if ligaments are torn.
  • Concussion — This is an injury to your brain that will require some rest. That means limiting video gaming, watching TV, texting, reading, homework, or using a computer. After 48 hours you can slowly increase your daily activities if they don’t cause any symptoms like dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, or nosebleeds. See a doctor if these conditions persist.

See Us with Any Questions

The experienced physicians and medical staff at AltaMed are familiar with sports injuries and know how to get you back on your feet and into the fun. It starts by developing a good relationship with your primary care physician. Call (888) 499-9303 for information or to make an appointment.


Hydration Is the Key to Good Health

It’s not an exaggeration to say, “water is life.” Our bodies are two-thirds water, and it’s essential to maintain that level of hydration.

Drinking enough water each day delivers nutrients to cells, keeps joints lubricated, helps organs function properly, prevents infections, and regulates body temperature. It also helps us sleep better, think better, and improves our mood.

It’s been recommended that women drink around 11 cups of water a day and men drink 16. They don’t all have to be plain water. You can flavor it with a squeeze of orange, lime, lemon, or cucumber. Coffee and tea without cream and sugar works as well. Just make sure you’re not trying to hydrate with alcohol or sugary soft drinks. Those are worse for us.

Why Hydration Matters

Not drinking enough water can lead to multiple problems. These include:

Dehydration Risks

Everyone needs to have plenty of fluid, but anyone can get dehydrated. Some people are at greater risk of dehydration than others. They include:

  • Babies and infants — Their low body weight makes them very sensitive to any fluid loss.
  • Seniors — They don’t realize they are becoming dehydrated so they must constantly drink water.
  • People with chronic illnesses — Some long-term illnesses like diabetes and alcoholism tend to dehydrate the patient.
  • Athletes — They lose excessive amounts of fluid through sweat and sometimes forget to hydrate enough to recover.

Signs of Dehydration

There are physical and visual signs to let you know it is time to fuel up with some water. The visual sign is the color of your urine. Healthy urine should be clear to pale yellow. It should also be odorless. The darker it is and the stronger the smell, the more likely you need to hydrate.

Physical symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Lack of concentration
  • Pain when urinating
  • Tiredness
  • Thirst

It can become serious if you don’t drink water following the warning signs. If it becomes severe and a medical emergency, symptoms will include:

  • Failure to urinate for up to eight hours
  • Lethargy
  • Low level of consciousness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Weak pulse
  • Seizures

It can become life threatening, especially in older people.

We’re Here for You

AltaMed can help you answer questions about taking care of yourself and the best things to put in your body. Our registered dieticians can develop personalized meal plans that will create better eating habits and a healthier lifestyle. This service is open to patients of all ages. Call (888) 499-9303 to get started.

Exercises You Can Do at Any Age