Staying Fit as You Age
You’re never too old to get fit or set new fitness goals. While your body may be changing, exercise is key to aging well and keeping your body and mind healthy. Routine exercise will improve your heart and bone health. It also does wonders for your mood.
Find Activities You Love
The best exercise is the one you enjoy. If you like what you’re doing, there’s a greater chance you’ll stick with it. Find an activity you genuinely like – maybe a walk through your neighborhood, going for a long swim, or perhaps a jog with your dog.
A combination of low impact exercises, strength training (weight-bearing exercises) and stretching may be easier on your joints. Exercises to consider:
- Power walking
Set a Goal
Set realistic but challenging goals that push you slightly beyond your current fitness level. While it is ideal to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, you may need to start slowly. Building your endurance over time will help you to become more fit and lower the risk of injury.
If you haven’t exercised in years, you may want to start with a ten minute stroll around your block. Next time you’re tempted to hop on an elevator, take the stairs. Every step counts!
Grab a Buddy
Make exercise social! Find a friend who will help you stay on track with your exercise goals. Set daily or weekly times to exercise together, and stick with it. Commit to meeting at a gym, neighborhood park, or at exercise class. You may not see the results on your body immediately, but your heart will thank you.
Pace Yourself – But Not Too Much
If you’re recovering from surgery or not feeling well enough to exercise, cut yourself some slack. Make sure you give your body time to fully heal. As you start feeling better and stronger, set realistic goals that challenge you to get back in shape.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re not sure where to start or what exercises to do, your doctor may be able to help you create an exercise plan that’s ideal for your body. If you are recovering from surgery or not up to your usual level of activity, it may be best to contact your doctor before you ramp up your exercise regimen.
You may also want to consult with a fitness expert or personal trainer for additional tips on how to make your workout really work for you