If you have reached retirement age or are quickly approaching it, you may think that exercise is not for you. When you think about going to a gym to workout, all you can see is young, hard bodies there – no place for you. And besides, you tell yourself, your body just can’t handle it.
Now, anyone who is beginning a new exercise program should discuss this with their primary care physician first, but you are putting your body at risk by not exercising. Our muscles and bone density peak in our 20s so we must work to maintain a basic level of fitness and strengthen our bodies to ward off any and all ailments, mental and physical.
So, the truth is that you can begin exercising at any age. If you have never made it a habit before now, that’s no problem. Your body will still be responsive to various types of exercise.
A Holistic Approach
To get the maximum benefit from your fitness program, you should incorporate four types of exercise: aerobic, strength, endurance, and balance. Each type of exercise has specific advantages and, you will achieve the best results with the combination of all four. It may be helpful to enlist the help of a personal trainer or fitness instructor to help you devise a plan that will work for you. Taking this step forward will make you happier, healthier, and give you more energy.
Start small and build upon your successes. That’s the advice that is consistently given by fitness professionals. The prescribed 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily can be broken into 10-minute or 15-minute segments, until you build up your endurance. Exercises such as bicycling, swimming, or brisk walking will improve your heart, lungs and circulatory system.
Use it or lose it. Muscles help to protect our joints, strengthen our bones, improve our balance, and make carrying things easier. You don’t need an elaborate gym to do strength exercises two to three times a week. There are many exercises that can be done at home – three sets of eight or more repetitions is the standard to build strength. As each exercise becomes easy for you, add more repetitions, weight or resistance.
Help your body stay limber by following your strength exercises with stretching. Flexibility exercises improve your flexibility and range of motion, making it easier to bend over and tie your shoes or turn around and look over your shoulder to back out of the driveway.
Be careful! This oft-repeated phrase that mothers use to remind children of danger in the world becomes larger than life as you age. The single most common reason that aging adults end up making uncomfortable changes in their living conditions is the incidence of repeated falls.
Protect your health and happiness by acting now to increase your fitness, and especially your balance. It’s not difficult, but it does require consistent effort. Most balance exercises can be done at home without any special equipment.
Where to Start
Be sure to consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. At the very least, your doctor can document your condition at the beginning of your program and congratulate you on your progress as you improve.
Whenever possible, have someone work out with you. It could be a friend, a fitness instructor, or a personal trainer. It is helpful to receive encouragement and establish accountability with another person, especially when taking on a difficult task.
To avoid injury and frustration, start out by exercising two to three times a week for a short period of time. As you become comfortable with your routine, add more days, more exercises, and greater difficulty. Soon you will feel a difference in your mood, your energy level, and your overall well-being.
Exercising at The Admiral at the Lake
While preparing for your new routine, the staff at The Admiral at the Lake reminds you to consult your physician before you get started and be sure to stay well-hydrated as you exercise. Unlike your average retirement community, The Admiral at the Lake caters to the vibrant, active lifestyle enjoyed by our residents. Looking for a urban senior living community to call home? To learn more, call 773.433.1801 or click here.