Balance training

Balance exercises can help you maintain your balance at any age. It's generally a good idea for older adults in particular to include exercises to maintain or improve balance in their routine exercises. This is important because balance tends to deteriorate with age, which can lead to falls and fractures. Balance exercises can help older adults prevent falls and maintain their independence.

However, anyone can benefit from balance training, as it can help stabilize your core muscles. Try standing on one leg for increasing periods of time to improve your overall stability. Activities such as tai chi can promote balance, too.

Flexibility and stretching

Flexibility is an important aspect of physical fitness, and it's a good idea to include stretching and flexibility activities in a fitness program. Stretching exercises can help increase flexibility, which can make it easier for you to do many everyday activities that require flexibility.

Stretching can also improve the range of motion of your joints and may promote better posture. Regular stretching can even help relieve stress and tension.

Consider stretching after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and receptive to stretching. But if you want to stretch before a workout, warm up first by walking or exercising for five to 10 minutes before stretching.

Ideally, you'll stretch whenever you exercise. If you don't exercise regularly, you might want to stretch at least two to three times a week after warming up to maintain flexibility. Activities such as yoga promote flexibility, too.

Cover all the bases

Whether you create your own fitness training program or enlist the help of a personal trainer, your overall exercise plan should include several elements. Aim to incorporate aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching into your exercise plan. It isn't necessary to fit each of these elements into every fitness session, but factoring them into your regular routine can help you promote fitness for life.

Aug. 10, 2017 See more In-depth