Fitness is a hot topic these days. Many different diet and exercise methods are being proposed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s a Keto diet, a Paleo plan, HIIT workouts, Crossfit, or a subscription to receive protein shakes every month, there are so many options out there! It can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Here at At Home Quality Care, we don’t believe fitness has to be hard! Most of the time, simple changes and habits can lead to huge strides in fitness. You don’t necessarily need a trendy plan or subscription to improve your health. We want to help you break down your options for exercise as you age – not overwhelm you with complicated regimens. The main challenge behind a fit life is setting healthy habits, and it takes time and patience to set these, but not rocket science!

Did you know that it becomes increasingly important to stay fit as you age?

Many ailments and health risks can arise if your nutrition and fitness are neglected. Along with a balanced diet, staying physically active can help greatly improve your overall health, mood, and general quality of life. Why not start today?

You can start by:

Choosing something you enjoy.

Have you always loved an early morning swim? Do you enjoy an occassional stroll around the neighborhood at sunset? Simple stretching exercises on a yoga mat? Throwing a ball for your trusty furry friend? Whatever it is you enjoy, be sure to practice that exercise frequently and make goals for yourself to keep accountable to a plan.

If you don’t enjoy the type of exercise you’re currently doing, chances are you won’t continue on in it.

There are so many options out there, and finding a group to join can be the difference between enjoying many more wonderful years with your family or enduring difficult diagnoses. Look at your local aging office or YMCA to see what interests you! Sometimes all you need to motivate you to go to a class is a good friend or a friendly fitness instructor.

After choosing something you enjoy, know the benefits! By adopting a new exercise pattern, you are benefitting your body, your mind, and your life in general. You can mix and match exercises to meet your needs and improve your endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. These are the 4 main types of exercises; each accomplishing different health goals:

  1. Endurance: helps build energy and heart health. Some examples include:

    • Jogging – run at your own pace. You don’t have to sprint to get your heart rate up!

    • Walking – enjoy a sunset stroll around the neighborhood. Invite a friend or family member to join you!

    • Swimming – easy on the joints, and incredibly beneficial for your heart. Join a local gym to enjoy their pool.

  2. Strength: assists with strengthening muscles. Some examples include:

    • Weight lifting – it doesn’t have to be body-building to be helpful! Some simple curls and leg presses can be a great place to start.

    • Body-weight exercises – try some pushups, crunches, or sit-ups in the comfort of your own home! You can even listen to music or watch TV at the same time.

  3. Balance: one of the most crucial exercises for Seniors. Assists with preventing falls and maintaining a good center of balance. Examples include:

    • Yoga – try starting every day with some slow stretching and see how it changes your outlook on the day!

    • Practice balancing on one foot – this can be extremely beneficial for preventing falls and helping your balance in the icier months.

    • Balance-ball exercises – purchase a simple balance-ball like this one, and practice sitting or doing simple crunches to increase your balance.

  4. Flexibility: increases mobility and assists with muscle strengthening. Examples include:

    • Simple chair exercises like these – you can even practice while watching a football game or cooking show!

    • Yoga – yoga stretches also increase flexibility. Try a simple beginner video to get you started.

Make sure to be safe while exercising, by practicing habits such as:

  • Staying hydrated – your doctor probably already told you that hydration is key, but it becomes especially important when you are exerting energy and sweat to stay fit.

  • Warming up before exercising – get your muscles ready to move!

  • Cooling down after exercising – you don’t want to meet your friends for coffee and pull a muscle when settling into your chair. Take time to cool down and recuperate – you won’t regret it!

  • Taking it slow – work from low intensity to high intensity workouts to keep from pulling muscles or over-exerting yourself.

  • Be aware of your surroundings – exercise in an open space if possible, and use a soft surface in case you stumble.

  • Wear supportive shoes, if applicable – invest in those awesome running shoes you’ve always wanted! When doing cardio exercises, its important to have supportive shoes.

Whichever one of the above exercises you choose, make sure to practice these safety measures, and check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. Depending on your health history and current fitness, your doctor will be able to recommend a good place to start.

Happy exercising!

Sources:

https://www.aarp.org/entertainment/style-trends/info-07-2013/fitness-options-after-50.html

https://familydoctor.org/exercise-seniors/

How to Stay Safe During Exercise and Physical Activity

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