The need to balance fitness and diet is one of many causes of distress for seniors. The pressure to stay active and healthy may come from themselves, family members, or physicians. Dieting can be easier to manage, but fitness needs more caution and discipline, more so for those who’ve never engaged in any kind.
Similarly, caregivers supervising seniors in independent living communities face the same challenge of getting the old to balance safe and effective exercise. However, with baby steps, anyone at any age can live a healthier life by adding these fitness goals to their resolution list:
1. Find Suitable Exercises for Your Life
You may have felt discouraged thinking that you must do every exercise routine outdoors or in a professional gym to make it effective. That is not true. However, it can be harder to figure out what works for you if it's your first time exercising. You must evaluate your options and choose the method of exercise that works best for you.
Most seniors may prefer indoor exercises with the help of unique indoor equipment like the SledMill. Equipment like this helps build strength and stamina without taking up too much space in your home. It can fit conveniently into a corner so that you have access to the machine without it overwhelming your living space.
The proper exercise also depends on your energy. You can opt for walking, yoga, running, jogging, or swimming; the idea is to keep your body active. Sticking to any of these exercises may take time. Once in a while, you find yourself getting out of them on a cheat day, but it eventually becomes a habit if you push to maintain consistency.
2. Formulate a Routine
Once you’ve identified a fitting exercise or workout, it is time to incorporate it into your life. It is not enough to know what to do; you also need to know how to do it. Build a workout routine that works for you. For most seniors, 2 ½ hours a week is a good exercise goal, as that breaks down to 30 minutes every day. Most importantly, while deciding on this, don’t forget to add rest days to it as it helps your body regain lost energy.
Building a routine from scratch can be difficult and often why many people stop working out before they even get started. One of the best ways to overcome this is to consult a trainer before starting. A trainer will work with you to determine your fitness goals and current fitness level and then create a routine that fits your schedule and works for you.
3. Don’t Sit For More Than an Hour
There will be weeks when your body will need an additional rest day, even for the energetic youngsters. Listen to it, and don’t overdo anything. Rest is essential, but that does not mean you have to stop entirely. Sitting for too long exposes you to other health risks. During your off-days, try not to sit down for long, and once in a while, stand and stretch as this helps your body maintain the balance and flexibility it needs. You can also light stroll around your neighborhood.
You can also purchase equipment that makes give you an alternative to sitting. A machine like the AbCoaster® PS500 has a compact design that you can fit in your home to work out while getting some entertainment. Unlike many core strengthening exercises, which will need you to lie on the floor or on a flat surface, this machine props you up with a free moving swivel seat, taking core workouts in a new direction.
4. Get Some Workout Buddies
Whether virtually or offline, getting people of your age group to work out with you keeps you motivated. You can look for fitness classes to meet people on a similar health journey as you. You can also make new friends in the gym to keep each other accountable.
Besides working on yourself, you will also be helping other seniors get fit to keep their health in check. Once you get friends to do this together, you can set your workout simultaneously. Once in a while, plan meetups and celebrate each other’s milestones, share new tips and encourage those who may have encountered barriers along the way.
No matter how bad your health and fitness have been, you still have the chance to work on them for your betterment. Identify what works for you, don’t compare yourself to anyone, and be patient enough to grow in it steadily.
About the Author
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beach-goer operating out of Southern New Jersey.