5 Steps for Healthy Aging Through Fitness
Staying fit and healthy as you age can be a challenge. Mobility issues, decreased stamina, aching joints, fatigue, and other issues make exercising while aging even more of a process.
Fortunately, improved fitness can help with these issues and many others. Whether you’re trying to stay fit yourself, or are helping a loved one navigate senior fitness, know that maintaining physical fitness throughout adulthood is entirely possible. All you need are these 5 tips and some motivation.
1. Talk to the doctor
Medical professionals recommend a regular exercise routine that includes:
- Moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes five days per week
- Strength training (all major muscle groups) for two or more days per week
However, seniors should always get their doctor’s green light before jumping into a new workout program. A physician will assess medications, fitness level, potential health considerations, and other factors that could impact fitness.
2. Start exercising slowly
Easing into a new workout routine is the best way to avoid injuries and stay safe. Recognize that your body probably moves more slowly than it once did, and that is okay!
When you first start, keep sessions short and don’t push yourself too hard. You can increase the intensity as your body gets stronger, which is a great feeling.
3. Workout with a friend
The buddy system is perfect for fitness, especially when you’re starting a new routine. Having a friend around keeps you motivated, too.
Fitness with a friend also increases the safety of a workout, because you can spot each other during exercises and help out in the event of an injury.
4. Don’t forget about strength training
Cardio is an important part of a well-rounded exercise program, but activities like walking and biking shouldn’t be your sole forms of fitness. Strength training is also important, especially for aging adults.
Some experts recommend beginning with one or two-pound weights, which is a great starting point. Gradually increase the weight as you get stronger and include movements that engage all the major muscle groups.
If you don’t like lifting weights, they aren’t your only option for strength training. Water aerobics and yoga are two additional muscle-building activities that will keep you feeling great.
5. Consider joining an exercise program or group
You could join a gym, sign up for a fitness class, or check the local community center for classes geared toward seniors.
For older adults living in a senior living community, fitness programs are often available. The Argyle’s residents have access to our Fit Seniors program. Local physical therapists help participants develop balance, flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular endurance during 30-minute sessions.
When searching for a fitness program or group classes, look for each of those four elements. They represent a well-rounded fitness program, which is an excellent way to embrace healthy aging.
As a local nonprofit, The Argyle has brought high quality and affordable care to Denver’s seniors since 1874. To this day, our caring team remains committed to encouraging independence and preserving the dignity of every resident who calls our community home.