Staying fit and healthy can be difficult at any age, but it gets especially rough as we grow older. It is difficult to eat a balanced diet, get enough exercise, and to refrain from bad habits like smoking and fast food.
Being part of the older and more experienced population may come with a greater degree of respect, and they might get special privileges to make their lives a little bit easier, but they still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
With age comes wisdom. We learn that the older we get, the less capable we become, but that doesn’t mean we have to live a sedentary lifestyle. Simply keeping in mind what we need to stay safe and relatively comfortable will go a long way in staying motivated and active. The following are some tips to keep in mind:
- Stay hydrated
- Do not over exert yourself
- Stay within your limits
- Use proper equipment (e.g. helmets, wrist guards, knee pads)
- Take breaks and go at your own pace
Whatever your current level of fitness is, there are always varying degrees of intensity you can choose from. Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean sweating buckets and being exhausted to the point of collapsing—it can instead be something you enjoy and find stimulating, and only require a modest amount of effort. The following are some exercises that are best suited for seniors.
Yoga – This is primarily an exercise that deals with flexibility and stretching. It can be done at a slower pace and helps improve range of motion and joint pain
Weightlifting – By no means does this mean you need to do excessive weight lifting, but light to moderate weight lifting or strength exercises (while jogging or power walking) will not only strengthen muscles but also strengthen bones, helping reduce overall fracture rate.
Aerobics – Any good exercise requires the heart to start pumping, and there is no better way than to get the body moving. While joint pain may be a hindrance to aerobics, there are methods available to circumvent this problem, such as water aerobics at your local community center or knee braces for extended walking periods. Whichever you decide, it is important not to overextend yourself and to go at your own pace.
As we get older, it may be tempting to simply take it easy and forego physical activity, but this would be a travesty. There is so much in the world to see and witness, from mother nature to world events, in addition to all of the rewarding activities you can do. Not to mention the fact that staying active is its own reward.