Don’t lie – maintaining or improving your physical fitness is somewhere on your mental list of resolutions you’ve carried into the new year. You know how important it is for older adults to stay active. You are fully invested in doing all you can to keep your heart rate up and your blood pressure regular, and forming a personalized fitness plan that works for you is step one.
What is Your Main Goal?
If you’ve been neglecting exercise but want to jump back into a healthy routine, maybe your main goal is to do just that: establish a regular exercise pattern. If you already are comfortable with your current fitness level but want to challenge yourself and run a 5k race later in the new year, maybe your main goal is to step up your aerobic activity.
Everyone has a unique mindset when creating a fitness plan, but the differences don’t matter. Everyone benefits from setting a clear goal right from the start. Determining your objective will help you choose exercises that advance your mission.
What Activities Do You Enjoy?
Who said your fitness plan had to be mind-numbingly boring? There are a multitude of activities you can add to your weekly routine that won’t make you dread changing into workout clothes. You could partner with a friend for an afternoon walk. You could take a morning lap swim at the community pool. Don’t settle for a fitness plan that makes you cringe. Spend your time on activities that provide mental enjoyment as well as a physical benefit.
What Conditions Might Limit Your Activity?
Don’t ignore your body’s warning signs. Stay constantly aware of physical conditions that could affect your abilities. If you suffer from osteoporosis, don’t stretch affected areas of your body beyond a comfortable limit. If you have arthritis in your ankle or elbow, stop exerting yourself when it flares up. Talk to your doctor before starting any new fitness plan or adding a strenuous exercise to make sure your body can handle the added exertion.
What Always Belongs in Every Senior Fitness Plan?
Never forget to stretch before each and every workout. Flexibility is a key component to keeping joints and muscles limber and reducing the risk of injury.
You should also always keep track of your exercise by quickly jotting down what activities you completed and how you felt physically afterwards. If you do experience an injury, you can pinpoint which alterations to your routine may have caused the occurrence. You can also slowly and safely add to the intensity of your workout as you go.
It comes down to this basic fact: seniors who exercise regularly every week will live an average of five years longer than those who don’t. Keep your fitness plan a priority this year and you will feel better and live longer – science supports it.