As you age, maintaining an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever. Exercise helps boost energy, manage symptoms of illness or pain, and can even reverse some signs of aging in older adults.
Aside from its positive effects on your physical well-being, it also significantly improves your mind, mood, and memory.
Your exercise plan doesn't have to include strenuous workouts or trips to the gym. You can reap the many rewards of regular exercise by simply adding a few manageable activities to your daily routine.
The following exercise tips for 50-plus individuals will help ensure a safe, healthy transition into a new exercise program.
1. Get medical clearance
It is essential that you get the O.K. from your doctor before starting your exercise program. Be sure to ask if there are any activities in particular you should avoid.
2. Start slow
It's important to build up your physical activity level gradually at a pace comfortable for you. Start by spacing out your routine at 10-minute intervals throughout the day, or do just one exercise class per week until you feel strong enough to increase your activity level.
3. Commit to a preset schedule
Create and commit to a specific plan for at least 3-4 weeks so your exercise routine becomes a habit. This way, you'll be accustomed to working out consistently before you even know it!
4. Choose activities you enjoy
This will make your exercise less of a chore and more of a highlight in your day. You may be surprised at the common activities you do every day that also count as exercise!
Dancing, swimming, hiking and biking are all great way to have fun and burn calories along the way.
5. Try walking
Walking is a perfect activity to kick start your exercise program. It is low-intensity, requires no special equipment, and can be done anywhere at any time
6. Yoga: exercise and relaxation
Yoga provides a multipurpose workout that improves balance and flexibility, and can be adapted to any level of experience.
7. Grab a partner
Working out with a buddy helps you stay committed to your plan, and makes it more fun. There are plenty of ways to make exercise social, whether its by joining a gym or signing up for a senior sports league or group fitness classes.
8. Get creative
Doing the same activity for weeks at a time can get tedious and boring. In order to stay motivated and enjoy your exercise regimen, find fun activities and switch up frequently. You can try different activities for on land or in the water, in the winter and in the summer...the options are endless!
No matter the activity or regimen you choose, regular exercise becomes increasingly important with age. So grab a friend, find an activity you love, and improve your physical and mental well-being!
Creative Commons image via Zach Dischner