As you get older, you’ll probably find that it’s harder to exercise and keep active at the same level as in your youth. Your muscles stiffen up and your bones become more fragile with age, and movement becomes more difficult along with these changes. It’s therefore vitally important to keep busy and active as you get older, so read on for some top tips to keep yourself active.
The Benefits of an Active Life
Keeping active is essential at all stages of life, and the benefits of regular activity are numerous. Exercise that raises the heart rate can benefit you in a number of ways:
- Improve heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease
- Lessen the risk of stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer
- Preserve muscle strength to maintain independence
- Enhance strength and balance, reducing the risk of a fall
- Improve your mood
How Much Should You Exercise?
You should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity every week—about 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Moderate exercise means anything that can get your heart rate up. So, it can depend on your current level of activity. If you’re not very active at present, even something simple like vacuuming or gardening could be enough. If you’re an active person, why not go swimming once or twice a week? Swimming is fantastic exercise because it’s gentle on the joints.
It’s easy to work gentle and moderate exercise into your life, even if you live in a care facility. Quality retirement communities, like Danbury senior living, offer fitness centers and exercise classes.
Tailor your activity to your lifestyle and do whatever you can to get moving.
How to Exercise
As well as cardio exercise that gets the heart rate up, you should also do activities that strengthen your muscles and improve your balance.
Exercise that strengthens the muscles is important to reduce the occurrence of day-to-day aches and pains, and to maintain mobility and strength as you get older.
There are all sorts of exercises and activities you can do to strengthen your muscles, including:
- Lifting weights—they don’t have to be heavy. Even bottles of water will do
- Carrying shopping bags home from the store
- Bodyweight exercises like wall pushups and/or squats
Working on your balance is an easy way to reduce your risk of falling over. Your bones will weaken as you age, and a fall could have dire consequences. Practicing balance exercises is a great way to reduce the likelihood that you’ll fall.
Try joining a yoga class aimed at the elderly. The poses and positions will be less challenging than those in a regular class, and many can even be done from a chair. Improve your balance in gently but steadily.
If you’re struggling to find the motivation for exercise, try these easy techniques.
Make it a social occasion. Joining a class with like-minded people is a great way to bond and socialize while you get fit.
Exercise every day. Making exercise and movement part of your daily routine will create a good habit and make it easier to remember to get moving.
Track your progress. Keeping a diary or using an app to track your progress will allow you to see how much you’ve improved in a short space of time, and this will motivate you to keep going.
Whatever you do to get yourself moving more, your body will thank you. Keep moving to maintain independence and get the most out of life.