The Harvard Medical School narrowed this list down for us to the 5 best exercises. These exercises will help keep your weight under control, improve your balance and range of motion, strengthen your bones, protect your joints, prevent bladder control problems, lower your risk for disease and even ward off memory loss.
Swimming. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move them more fluidly. Research finds that swimming can improve your mental state and put you in a better mood.
Tai Chi. Tai chi — a Chinese martial art that incorporates movement and relaxation — is good for both body and mind. In fact, it’s been called “meditation in motion.” Tai chi is made up of a series of graceful movements, one transitioning smoothly into the next.
Strength training. “If you don’t use muscles, they will lose their strength over time,” Dr. Lee says. Muscle also helps burn calories. “The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, so it’s easier to maintain your weight,” says Dr. Lee. Strength training might also help preserve your ability to remember. Before starting a weight training program, be sure to learn the proper form.
Walking. Walking is simple yet powerful. It can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood and lower your risk for a number of diseases (diabetes and heart disease for example). A number of studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can improve memory and resist age-related memory loss.
Kegel exercises. These exercises won’t help you look better, but they do something just as important — strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. Strong pelvic floor muscles can go a long way toward preventing incontinence. While many women are familiar with Kegels, these exercises can benefit men too.