Exercise tips: How to get started and remain physically active

October 27th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized

Regular physical activity is key to healthy aging.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise strengthens your bones, muscles and joints, which can ultimately help you maintain an independent lifestyle for longer. It also lowers your risk for coronary heart disease and colon cancer and diabetes, helps combat arthritis pain and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Physical activity may offer dozens of health benefits, but it's not always easy if you haven't in a long time. But don't worry - getting into the groove isn't as difficult as you may think.

Here are a few tips for getting started and staying physically active as an independent senior:

1. Meet with your doctor
Before you dive in and start following a routine, NIH Senior Health said to make an appointment to meet with your doctor. He or she can provide advice on which exercises would work best for you based on the current status of your health.

Your doctor can give you advice on how to get started.Your doctor can give you advice on how to get started.

2. Check out your local fitness center
Now that you're ready to get started, take a trip to your local fitness center. There are dozens of machines, free weights and activities offered so you'll have plenty of ways to exercise. Many gyms provide a personal trainer if you're still not sure how to begin.

3. Start slow
Take your GP's advice and start slow with your new workout regimen. Remember, the CDC recommends older adults with no limiting health conditions dedicate at least 150 minutes to moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Two of those days should also be focused on muscle-strengthening activities. Start by working out for 10 to 15 minutes every day, then increase the time as your body allows you to.

4. Join a fitness class
After visiting the local gym, find out if they offer any fitness classes. Not only is this a fun way to exercise, it's a great opportunity to meet new like-minded people! Some examples might include: yoga, Tai Chi, cycling and water aerobics.

Find a fitness class that sparks your interest.Find a fitness class that sparks your interest.

5. Use the environment to your advantage
Exercising doesn't necessarily have to take place at the gym. As long as the weather permits, use the great outdoors to your advantage. A hike in the woods or walk in the park are both simple yet beneficial ways to get your physical activity in for the day. 

6. Make exercise a social interaction
Exercising with another person is a great opportunity to boost both physical and mental well-being, according to Helpguide. Regular social interaction is just as good for the body as dedicating time to fitness on a regular basis. It's also a guaranteed recipe for motivation - if you both promise to workout with each other a few times a week, you'll be less likely to skip the routine!

Source: Sunrise Senior Living

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