Shop for Plans
Plans through your employer
- Learn about the medical, dental, pharmacy, behavioral, and voluntary benefits your employer may offer.
- Explore coverage through work
- How to Buy Health Insurance
- Types of Dental Insurance
- Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment
- See all topics
Looking for Medicare coverage?
- Shop for Medicare plans
Shop for Plans
Shop for Plans
Physical Activity and Exercise
Learn how exercise and physical activity can benefit older adults—physically and mentally.
It’s never too late to get active. As you grow older, an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever for your health.
Getting active—or staying active if you already are—has definite health advantages, both physical and mental.
Physical Benefits of Staying Active
Among the many physical benefits it offers, regular exercise:
- Can help you maintain or lose weight. Exercise increases metabolism and builds muscle mass, both of which burn more calories.
- Can reduce the impact of illness and chronic disease. People who exercise tend to have:
- Improved immune and digestive systems.
- Better blood pressure and bone density.
- Lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, hip fractures, and certain cancers.
- Can enhance mobility, flexibility, and balance. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility, and posture, which helps with balance and coordination and reduces the risk of falling.
- Can extend lifespan. Exercise can help you live longer and stay independent longer.
Mental Health Benefits to Staying Active
Regular physical activity also has mental benefits, because it:
- Can improve sleep. Regular activity can help you fall asleep more quickly, more deeply, and wake feeling more energetic and refreshed.
- Can boost mood and self-confidence. Exercise is a huge stress reliever and the endorphins produced can reduce feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety.
- Can help the brain. Staying physically active can help keep your brain active.
Tips for Staying Active
Physical activities can be both enjoyable and safe for older adults. Some great ways to start are:
- Walking. This is a perfect way to start exercising. It requires no special equipment aside from a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
- Senior sports or fitness classes. These keep you motivated while also providing a source of fun, stress relief, and a place to meet friends.
- Water aerobics and water sports. Working out in water improves your cardiovascular system while reducing stress and strain on your body’s joints.
- Yoga. This combines a series of stretching poses with breathing. It can improve strength, flexibility, and balance. It also can be adapted to any level of skill and fitness.
- Tai chi and qi gong. These martial arts-inspired programs increase balance and strength.
Classes for seniors are often available at local YMCA or community centers.
Getting Active, Safely
Getting active is one of the healthiest decisions you can make as you age, but it’s important to do it safely. Before you get started:
- Get medical clearance from your doctor, especially if you have any preexisting medical conditions.
- Consider other health concerns. Ongoing health issues might affect your workouts. For example, if you have diabetes, you may need to adjust the timing of your medication and meals.
- Listen to your body. Exercise should never hurt. Stop immediately and call your doctor if you feel dizzy or short of breath, develop chest pain or pressure, or break out in a cold sweat.
- Start slow and build up steadily. If you haven’t been active in a while, try spacing workouts in 10-minute increments twice a day. Or try just one class a week. If you’re concerned about falling or have an ongoing heart problem, start with chair exercises.
- Prevent injury and discomfort by warming up, cooling down, and keeping water handy.
- Commit to an exercise schedule for at least three or four weeks so that it becomes a habit. This is easier if you find activities you enjoy.
Learn more about the benefits of physical activity by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
I want to...
Secure Member Sites
The Cigna Group Information
Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of The Cigna Group Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna Healthcare name, logo, and other Cigna Healthcare marks are owned by The Cigna Group Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of The Cigna Group.
All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna Healthcare sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.