Once you reach your golden years, you’re more likely to experience physical limitations that you might not have had an issue with during your prime. Perhaps you find your back pain bothering you more frequently, or maybe your knees hurt more than they should. Everybody experiences many such concerns as they grow older, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to stay fit and healthy years down the line.
That said, there may be some things you need to remember before pursuing an active lifestyle in your later years. Before you embark on this journey, here are a few things you may need to keep in mind:
Even though exercise is meant to improve your strength, function, and form, it shouldn’t feel painful or cause unwanted medical concerns. If your workout causes you to feel dizzy or be short of breath, do not hesitate to stop. It’s also important not to forgo water breaks, even if you only feel slightly parched during exercise. Usually, a lack of fluids will cause your heart rate and temperature to rise since your body cannot properly regulate heat. Additionally, you could experience dehydration and be more susceptible to ailments such as kidney stones.
Remember, it’s better to put your fitness goals on hold if your body is giving you signals that it cannot handle a high level of exertion. If physical discomfort and pain are frequent occurrences, you may want to check with your doctor to determine the exercises that best suit your age and condition. You may also want to exercise more frequently but for a shorter duration to sustain a comfortable pace. All in all, it’s best to approach exercise with mindfulness to maintain full control of your body.
If you’re new to an active lifestyle or haven’t exercised in a long time, the thought of working out could send shivers down your spine. However, staying physically active doesn’t have to mean spending hours on end at the gym. What’s more important is that you can keep your body moving to prevent a sedentary lifestyle, which has been linked to numerous health issues.
To ease yourself into working out, you can opt for basic exercises such as light jogs and stop once you reach your limit. Once your body becomes accustomed to the habit, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise. Apart from setting your pace, going easy on physical activity is a great way to monitor your improvement over time.
Exercising is good, but it won’t do you any favors if you don’t do it consistently. Thus, you need ensure that you can work out regularly. One of the best ways to stick to an exercise routine is by making it something you enjoy. For instance, maybe you find calming strolls around the park more enticing than running on a treadmill. Perhaps you have a love for water and prefer swimming over biking or jogging.
Remember that physical activity can come in many forms. At the end of the day, exercise is about being fulfilled rather than get burdened by tasks that ultimately fail to maximize your body’s potential.
In relation to the previous point, exercising with a partner or a group is an excellent way to make workouts more bearable and enjoyable. After all, it’s twice as fun to share the physical fulfillment with people who were with you throughout the journey. From aerobics to cycling, there are many ways to make exercising a social event that strengthens your body, as well as your bond with like-minded people.
When opting for a more active lifestyle, you may want to ask yourself why you want to do so in the first place. While staying fit and preventing health issues are great objectives, it might be better to focus on short-term goals to make the results seem easier to achieve. For instance, you can choose to do your favorite physical activities to boost your mood and relieve stress. After exercising, you can reward yourself by taking a relaxing bath or watching your favorite show.
The thing is, having more immediate goals allows you to better see the benefits you reap from working out. As time goes on, you won’t notice how far you’ve come since you’ve been working toward your smaller goals consistently.
Exercise must be accompanied by a healthy diet in order to produce great results. Older adults, in particular, need a diet with more protein to boost immunity, improve recovery, and maintain muscle mass. It would also be ideal to eat more nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, fiber, fish, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat to get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. If you’re a senior looking to plan a diet to go with your workout routine, be sure to consult your doctor about specific dietary needs you may need to consider.
Getting the right amount of physical activity helps people of all ages stay healthy and feel empowered over their bodies. It is for this reason that exercise should play a central role in daily life, especially for those in their later years.
While regular exercise has plenty of benefits, it’s also important to pay attention to how the body reacts to physical activity. If you’re an older adult pursuing a more active lifestyle, be sure to remember the tips above to stay motivated and keep your workouts safe, rewarding, and fun.