With a new year, there come new resolutions, and this year is no different. It’s very common to jump into January ready for a change—whether that includes eating better, becoming more active, or kicking a vice or two. However, as time goes on, falling back into old routines tends to happen. In order to thwart the pattern of returning to previous habits, it’s important to be educated on why fitness during the “Golden Years” is so important and learn a few tips to help you stay on the right path.
Staying physically fit and making sound health decisions now can have substantial benefits to your long-term health as well as carry immediate advantages.
A few of the key long-term benefits of senior fitness include countering a loss in bone density, increasing balance, and decreasing the risk of bone fractures—all three of which tie into each other. Poor balance means an increased likelihood of trips and falls, and those become far more dangerous to those with a decrease in bone density. By exercising for just thirty minutes a day, these risks are mitigated.
Furthermore, aging individuals can reduce arthritis pain by using strength training to increase the muscle surrounding achy joints. In addition to these benefits, seniors can reduce their risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease and boost immunity by taking part in physical activities daily.
Beyond long-term benefits, there are also immediate advantages of exercising. First is an increase in dopamine levels, which helps combat depression. Secondly, exercising can help boost energy levels. This may seem odd, as many choose not to take part in physical activities due to low energy levels. It goes back to Newton’s first law of motion; a body in motion stays in motion. Finally, by taking part in physical exercise on a consistent basis, you will see immediate results in strength levels and flexibility.
Making the decision to make healthier choices is the easy part. It’s the doing part that some get caught up on, and in many cases, consistency is where folks may really begin to falter. Below are five fitness tips that will help you to stay motivated and acknowledge some of the healthy habits you already have and can expand upon.
By making your goals measurable, you will significantly decrease your frustration with a perceived lack of progress. If you don’t know what success looks like, it can be hard to gauge what is working to get you there. You may almost find yourself feeling like a hamster on a wheel. By breaking down your goals into measurable, bite-sized pieces, you will be able to accurately identify what is, or is not, working.
This is important regardless of age. Having someone who you know will meet you for a walk or join you to play tennis will help you to stay motivated to show up. There will be days when you don’t want to walk your usual mile around the community. There will also be days when you would rather stay home and read than play pickleball with the neighbor. However; as humans, we tend to have a desire to please people. By knowing your neighbor is counting on you to show up at 9 AM to walk nine holes of golf, you’ll want to be there.
Fitness models are far from one-size-fits-all, and one of the biggest aspects of fitness is consistency. Therefore, implementing healthy choices on a daily basis will be vital for success. Far too often, when we think of fitness goals, we think about a gym and everything that comes with it.
However, your goals and how you achieve them may be entirely different from others and may not include a gym at all. Consider the activities you’re already taking part in, and modify them to include physical fitness. For instance, golfing. Instead of using a cart for your morning nine, consider walking the course instead. By making small changes to your daily activities, you will achieve consistency which yields results.
One of the largest reasons older adults may shy away from activities that involve physical fitness or working towards larger fitness goals is the fear of getting hurt. Regardless of the number of articles explaining the substantial health benefits, many people of retirement age are still hesitant. The biggest piece of advice one can receive is to listen to your body. Understand, there will be soreness after increasing muscle activity, and that is part of growth. However, shooting pains or unbearable discomfort is never part of the physical fitness bundle. If you find yourself in that boat, certainly hold off on any physical activity and determine if medical attention is needed.
Everybody is physically capable of some sort of exercise, although not everyone has the same abilities. The important part is knowing your limitations and working around them. For instance, if mobility issues are present, you may focus on upper body strength instead of traditional cardio options. Workouts for life in retirement are typically modified to achieve specific fitness goals but also bear safety in mind.
We pride ourselves on creating a community that encourages an active lifestyle. At Homestead Village, we offer an array of options that meet the needs of all of our community members. With a fully equipped gym and staff members who are trained in senior health and fitness, we are able to create tailored fitness plans that are modified for each person’s abilities.
In addition to the gym, Homestead Village also has an indoor therapy pool, indoor walking track, outdoor walking, and bicycling path, pickleball courts, and whirlpool. Along with these amenities, the following is a small sampling of fitness classes that are offered:
If you’re interested in learning more about our senior fitness opportunities and are ready to schedule a free campus visit, you may do so here.
Tip 1: Understand what your goals are.
Tip 2: Have an accountability buddy.
Tip 3: Identify what you are already doing.
Tip 4: Listen to your body.
– Aquatics class
– Aging gracefully exercise
– Cardio and aerobic exercise
– Tai Chi
– Gentle Body Yoga