Daily Activity and Healthy Aging
Posted on 06/20/2024

Regular physical activity along with a healthy diet improves our health and well-being in many ways throughout our lives. Choosing whole food sources rich in vitamins and fiber each day can become an enjoyable habit. Whole food, or food that is less processed, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, beans, and dairy, give our bodies energy to perform daily activities and keep our bodies healthy. Drinking water throughout the day prevents dehydration and helps turn food into energy

Drinking water throughout the day prevents dehydration and helps turn food into energy.

Finding the time to balance our daily responsibilities and still fit in an exercise routine is not always easy. Building muscle mass and doing heart pumping exercise, like walking, swimming, or biking are vital elements in maintaining our health. Even with the best of intentions, sometimes barriers such as schedules, chronic conditions, financial concerns, transportation, and personal comfort level or physical limitations can make going to the gym or taking an exercise course challenging. While formal organized exercise brings many benefits, we can also build and maintain fitness by being active through tasks and routines built into each day 

Exercise and healthy aging

The Blue Zones Study, by Dan Buettner offers insight on how activity as part of daily life occurs in areas where more people live longer and experience good health throughout their lives.    

Blue Zones and healthy Aging

In the Blue Zone areas, older adults are socially connected and stay physically active throughout each day. Walking, gardening, climbing stairs, and tasks that involve physical movements remain a daily part of older adults’ lives. In Blue Zones, one’s surroundings tend to bring about opportunities for movement and activity throughout each day.  


While taking an exercise class or visiting the gym on a regular basis can be excellent choices for physical fitness, daily activities can improve our health significantly. When we take the time to study our environment and think about how we can increase daily activity, a few small changes add up over time. Consider adding multiple daily movement breaks from sitting and plan projects around the house or do chores that activate muscle use. Including brief intervals of activity as vigorous as is appropriate for current health status, or an “exercise snack,” is explained in this article, which encourages taking about 10 minutes to complete a set of exercises and movements right in your own living room.  



Talking with a health care provider about a safe activity level is an important step in choosing the best approach for each individual. For instance, someone who is at an increased fall risk may benefit from participating in a fall prevention program. In addition to communicating with your provider, let others know what activities you will be doing, or better yet, join others to reap the benefits of both companionship and activity.   

Healthy aging and exercise

 The Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale is a great way to gage how the body is responding to activity. This scale may be useful for anyone but is particularly helpful for those with risk factors such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, breathing difficulties, or taking certain medications. Monitoring your heart rate along with the perceived rate of exertion may also be useful. Talking with your PCP or specialist such as a cardiologist, pulmonologist, or physical therapist is recommended to be sure positive changes made to improve health, increase longevity, and promote well-being are incorporated in a safe and productive manner. 

Healthy aging and blue zones

Keeping up with a healthy diet, hydration, and physical fitness does not need to feel daunting.  Tasks we need to complete and activities we enjoy incorporated into each day can help to improve and maintain overall health. Choosing nutrition that helps fuel our bodies with energy and promotes healing for both body and mind offers additional support in our goal to stay active. A lifestyle in which movement is built into each day benefits our overall health and wellbeing, both now and in the long run. Encouraging others to join in our activities and in preparing a nutritious meal or snack are great ways to build connections and benefit all involved.