(The Daily Dish) Regular physical activity, along with maintaining a healthy diet and other good habits, is key to building and protecting a healthy, happy you!

Staying active is important for all of us, at all ages, As we grow older, though, there are some areas to which we should pay extra attention

Physical activity is important at any age, from early childhood when much of our bodies are still growing and developing, to our elder years, to help maintain overall health As we age, our bodies change, too, along with our overall health needs.

For older adults, regular physical activity becomes one of the most important ways to safeguard your health. And along with improving and maintaining general health, it helps you keep your strength up, improving your ability to maintain your independence for longer.

Adults ages 65 and older should try to get 2 and a half hours of moderate exercise a week, like brisk walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, like hiking or jogging. Two days a week, it’s a good idea to focus on exercises that strengthen your muscles. And about three days a week, you should focus on activities that help you improve your balance.

You should talk to your primary care provider to see what specific physical activity is recommended for you and your individual health needs. They’ll be able to consider your entire medical history and current health and help you make the best decision. For most seniors, a great option is visiting one of the Optum Community Centers, where they hold a variety of classes for seniors, with everything from line dancing to chair yoga.

Concerned you aren’t a member? Don’t Be. Just because their name is on the building it doesn’t mean you need to be a member. They offer classes free and they’re open to anyone in the community ages 55 and above.

But even outside the community centers, a lot of fun, everyday activities are great ways to stay healthy and active, too. Swimming is one of the best workouts you can get, Golf is another great activity, that also gets you into the outdoors in a fun away. Other outdoor sports, such as tennis, softball, and others, make for a good workout and get you together with good friends.

You can also try out low-impact exercises like tai chi or yoga, or even dancing, which can improve balance, strength, and coordination. The Optum Community Centers have classes for all of these, but even if you can’t attend, you can just follow along with free online video classes.

Fun, everyday activities you wouldn’t necessarily think of as exercise are great ways to stay active, too. Go window-shopping in your favorite in-door mall, or, if you have the space, start a small garden outside. Most things you enjoy doing, that get you moving, are probably good ways to stay active.

Looking for additional information about Optum? Visit their website.

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