Our elders are essential to our communities, and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension celebrates
National Senior Citizens Day by encouraging them to stay active and strong.
“One of the most important things you can do for your health as you age is to engage in regular
physical activity,” said Erica Reyes, Program Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
“Regular activity may reduce the risk of developing age-related health issues and helps
strengthen your muscles. Even small improvements in muscle strength can make a big
difference in your ability to live on your own and do things like climb stairs and carry
There are several techniques to build muscles, whether at home or at the gym. Choose
exercises that engage your body’s main muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen,
shoulders, and arms) on two or more days per week for 30-minute sessions each. You may wish
Lifting weights: Depending on your fitness, you may need to begin with 1- or 2-pound weights.
Use a lighter weight for the first week, and then progressively increase it. Beginning with heavy
weights may result in injury.
Resistance bands: You may substitute weights with elastic bands, which come in various
resistance levels, from light to heavy.
Gardening: Heavy gardening activities such as shoveling, lifting mulch bags, pushing
wheelbarrows, and digging all use major muscle groups. Gardening is comparable to exercise
such as walking and biking. Please remember always to be hydrated when working out in the
Reyes recommends taking an instructor-led strength training class. “It will offer a structured
routine, corrections to find the right technique and form, and the opportunity to build support
networks with others who share your interests,” Reyes concludes.
For more information, seniors may contact the Harrison County Extension Office at