Your Guide to Exercising Through the Ages

These few simple fitness investments will last you a lifetime.

man running on a treadmill
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No rigorous workouts or gyms are required, however. In Knopf's classes, his elderly students incorporate all of these elements into simple activities done on or around a chair. The routine might consist of arm raises with resistance bands and leg lifts. Next, they move on to aerobics around the chair, followed by stretching.

You're never too old to reap benefits from exercise, according the NIH. The key to exercising safely is easing into your workouts. "Don't just run it out of the stall," Knopf says. You can avoid clicking and clunking—not to mention cracking—by taking inventory during your warm-up to see how you feel. If you're tired, take it slowly. If you experience pain (different from discomfort), check that you're using correct form in your movements, he suggests. If the pain persists, stop and consult your doctor to determine how to proceed with your exercise regimen.

If a lifetime of exercise sounds overwhelming, remember that the most important aspect of your exercise regimen at any age is not a particular fitness benefit—it's fun! "Health has to be carried on, on a daily basis, for a lifetime," Knopf says. The best way to keep your drive to exercise from burning out is to find the activities you love enough to do every day.