Older adults may find it difficult to achieve a physical fitness goal, but the President’s Challenge offers a way for seniors to begin to get more active, the ability to record exercise and apply for an award, and it gives seniors an added goal of another fitness level to achieve once the program is completed.
How Much Exercise Should Seniors Get to Stay Healthy?
The President’s Challenge is a six-week program that encourages a fitness goal of moderate exercise at least 30 minutes per day on at least five days per week, which is an exercise recommendation endorsed by several groups, including, but not limited to:
- President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports
- American Heart Association
- American College of Sports Medicine
- American Diabetes Association
Those who wish to use a pedometer may record steps with a recommended goal of 8,500 steps per day. According the the President’s Challenge web site, sedentary adults on average may walk approximately 5,000 steps per day, so this walking goal adds enough to be similar to the goal of 30 minutes per day goal above.
How Can an Older Adult Keep Track of an Exercise Routine?
An activity log form can be completed online or printed and completed and mailed to the President’s Challenge Program. Participants may log exercises in increments as short as five minutes at a time. The form gives participants the ability to keep track of activities that can be simple and part of a normal routine, such as cleaning the house, mowing the yard, or going for a walk. Exercises may also be more formal, such as taking a group exercise class like yoga or aerobics, dancing, or coaching an athletic team. Participants may also include the number of steps recorded via a pedometer.
The President’s Challenge program realizes that some people may have circumstances that prevent completing the six-week program in exactly six weeks, so participants have eight weeks to complete the six-week goal. Those completing online forms may go back as far as 14 days to log activity and online points can be accumulated to count toward additional awards.
Seniors Can Earn Awards to Stay Motivated to Exercise
The benefits of maintaining a regular exercise routine may be difficult to see at first. People who are just beginning to exercise may feel as if their efforts do not produce dramatic results like huge weight loss or great strides in strength or flexibility, but combining regular exercise with a healthy diet can produce many positive health results for seniors who wish to maintain a more active and healthy lifestyle.
The President’s Challenge offers an award program that can be an incentive and tangible goal that may help jump start an exercise program. Participants who meet their fitness goals for the six-week program may apply for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award and then continue the same program to add stars to add to the certificate or move up to the more challenging Presidential Champions program.
The awards include a fee, and prices can be found at the President’s Challenge web site on the online order form. Those who wish to complete the program without applying for an award may do so as well.
President’s Challenge Encourages Seniors to Get Active
Beginning and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise offers numerous benefits for seniors. Programs such as the President’s Challenge give older adults tools to help stay on track and keep motivated with awards as they continue to regularly exercise during an initial six-week exercise program with the ability to either continue the same Active Lifestyle Award program again or to move to a more challenging level.
Seniors should check with their healthcare provider regarding any activity restrictions and specific exercises to avoid and those exercises that would be particularly beneficial for an individual’s health needs and lifestyle. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.