This article discusses tips and strategies for a regular exercise routine to counteract the effects of aging and help you stay active and fit.
Aging is a natural part of life, causing various physical changes affecting your stamina, strength, balance, and flexibility. Whereas it’s something that you cannot stop forever, you can certainly slow down the effects of aging and not restrict your abilities to live an active, healthy life.
Tips and strategies for staying active and fit as you age
The good news about regular exercise is its versatility. You don’t necessarily have to drive anywhere or buy a gym membership to stay active and fit.
Including simple exercises in your everyday routine can significantly improve your well-being and overall health. For instance, you can always buy affordable exercise equipment for seniors that you can use at home for low-impact cardio and strength exercises.
Benefits of regular exercise on aging
Irrespective of your age, exercise helps promote and maintain healthier body and brain functions. The main benefits of exercise include:
(i) Boosts cardiovascular fitness and lowers heart disease and stroke risks.
(ii) Increases strength and flexibility, enabling you to do everyday tasks easily.
(iii) Improves your balance and coordination, helping reduce the risks of falling as you age.
(iv) Reduces stress and helps you sleep better.
(v) Controls body fat and weight, reducing your risks of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
Regular exercise is more important for older people, allowing older adults to age gracefully.
Overall, regular exercise enhances longevity and, more importantly, improves the quality of life.
Creating a personalized exercise plan as per one’s needs
When developing an exercise routine, make sure to incorporate a variety of strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance exercises. This will help you to promote and maintain functional movements for everyday life.
Here’s the strategy to develop a simple yet effective weekly exercise routine
(i) Strength: Do simple resistance exercises 2-3 times weekly. Examples are exercises with resistance bands and bodyweight exercises like push-ups. These exercises help not only slow down age-related muscle loss but also help build muscle mass.
(ii) Endurance: Physical activities such as brisk walking or cycling boost health and increase stamina. Doing these types three times a week will help improve your endurance significantly.
(iii) Balance: With age, the risk of falling and fracturing bones increases if we do nothing about it. To control this risk, include balance focus exercise twice a week.
(iv) Flexibility: Get into the habit of doing gentle stretches daily.
Note: Everyone’s health and fitness conditions are different. What works for one individual may not work for another. Begin slowly and increase gradually your exercise intensity to minimize the risk of an injury.
Listen to your body and modify exercises to prevent injury, aches, and strains.
Staying consistent is important
Staying motivated in your fitness routine can be challenging because of your office and job responsibilities. Many times your motivation levels may drop.
Here are a few tips that can help you stay committed and stick with your routine
(i) Set realistic goals: Start slow and aim to step up your exercise intensity gradually, like adding a few more steps every day or holding a stretching pose a bit longer each week. That helps you stay committed and, moreover, prevent injury and avoid burnout.
(ii) Keep it enjoyable: Do the activities you enjoy so you don’t feel them as a burden. For example, if you love nature, go for bike rides and hikes outdoors. Dance is another example of an enjoyable activity. This will keep you in a look forward attitude for keeping fit.
(iii) Go Social: For those who enjoy others’ company, engaging in group exercises or exercising with a buddy is very motivating. While making it more fun, it provides a constant source of commitment.
In addition, you are more likely to enjoy an activity you are good at.
Keeping a safe environment
When exercising, safety must always be a priority, especially for seniors. Follow the following tips for creating a safe exercise environment.
(i) Wear comfortable, appropriate shoes and clothing
(ii) Stay hydrated
(iii) Avoid doing strenuous activity during extreme weather conditions
(iv) Warm up before the main exercise routine and cool down after the training.
The above tips might seem obvious, but they are commonly overlooked. Moreover, before starting any new exercise routine, consult a fitness trainer or doctor about its suitability for your fitness level.
Final advice on keeping active and fit as you age
Whereas exercise is a critical factor for healthy aging, it’s one aspect. We must follow a holistic approach. Other essential factors of healthy aging are a balanced diet, staying socially connected, mentally stimulating activities, and regular check-ups.
The final words
It’s never too late to begin your fitness journey. With the right mindset and the above strategies, start right now to stay active and fit and enjoy your later years to the fullest.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says, ” Age is just a number!”