We hear all the time how important it is to exercise, but when we age, is it still just as important? While it may be harder to exercise the same way as your younger self once did, maintaining healthy exercise habits with age is just as important as ever – if not more so. Regular exercise can help you maintain and improve your physical and mental health, and it can even help subdue the symptoms of some illnesses. But staying active when older needs to be approached in a different way; below are a few things to keep in mind about exercising as you age.
How Exercising Helps
Exercising has many clear benefits, but it can be an especially useful habit for older adults who may have some level of disability. For one, exercising can help improve your strength and resistance as well as your balance. These factors are key to staying mobile as you age. Exercise can also help prevent or subdue certain diseases or symptoms when approached in a health way: It can improve cardiovascular function, increase bladder control, and can help with weight fluctuations.
Exercise is vital to maintaining good mental health, too. It can improve your mood and decrease your risk for anxiety or depression. Regular exercise can also boost self-esteem and encourage social interaction. It can also increase your clarity of thinking, partly because exercise is so helpful to decreasing fatigue and helping support regular sleep patterns. These benefits to exercise can be wonderful motivators for maintaining an exercise routine as you age.
How to Set Exercise Goals
As you age, it’s important to consider your current endurance and physical capability to exercise before setting out to try anything new. Before starting any routine, talk to your doctor about their personal recommendations for you to exercise. Since they are familiar with your health status, they will be very capable of suggesting activities that will work well with your condition.
Once you have a few ideas in mind for exercise, be sure to start your routine slowly. Work your way up to your long-term exercise goals so that your body can build up to that level of endurance and strength. Starting slowly will also make it easier to continue exercising long-term, as you won’t exhaust your body out right at the beginning.
How to Maintain a Routine
Exercising as you age can mean so many different things: From doing chores around the house, to taking a daily walk, or even trying out a swimming class or joining a senior exercise club, there are so many ways to stay physically active when older.
The best way to keep up a routine is to make sure that while you’re also doing exercise that works for your physical capabilities, that it’s also something you enjoy doing! If you don’t have fun while exercising, keeping up a routine will be much harder to do. This can be helped by also exercising with friends or family when possible. You can encourage each other and help keep track of each other’s progress.
Exercising when older is vital to staying physically and mentally healthy, but it can also be a lot of fun. As you work to find a routine that works for you, be sure to stay positive above all. Taking the first step of working towards regular exercise is something to be proud of, and you will feel so much better for it.