It’s a fact that physical fitness in retirement is essential to aging well and enjoying a longer, healthier and more active life. The benefits of staying fit are many as are ways to do exercise without taking away from all those bucket list items that await. If an active and healthy lifestyle is important, take these fitness tips for retirees to heart!
6 fitness tips for retirees
Tip #1: Know what’s in it for you
One of the essential fitness tips for retirees is to understand what seniors have to gain from exercise. The benefits include the obvious, like strength, stamina, and cardiovascular health, but there are also benefits that aren’t so apparent.
According to the mayoclinic.org article, “Alzheimer’s disease: Can exercise prevent memory loss?,” research shows regular exercise may be one way to ward off dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, because it increases blood flow to the brain and encourages production of chemicals that protect the brain, and may also help slow progression of dementia in those who have the disease.
Fitness also helps strengthen bones which is key to avoiding osteoporosis, increases good HDL cholesterol and lowers fatty triglycerides, builds flexibility and relieves stress. Find out even more excellent reasons to exercise in the ncoa.org article, “The Life-Changing Benefits of Exercise After 60.”
Tip #2: Consult your physician
If regular exercise is something new to you or it’s been some time since you last exercised, it is essential to begin with the most important of all fitness tips for retirees: talk to your doctor first. Even seniors who seem to be in excellent health should always let their physician know what exercise they plan to begin so any underlying health concerns can be considered first. For those with health problems this is even more important so find out what’s at stake in the mayoclinic.org article, “Exercise: When to check with your doctor first.”
Tip #3: Start out slow
When beginning a new exercise routine, another of the fitness tips for retirees is to start out slow and build overtime. This means not only less time spent exercising but doing lower-intensity exercises that let you gain strength and stamina so increasing time and intensity can be done without damage. The nia.nih.gov article, “How Older Adults Can Get Started With Exercise,” also recommends warm-up and cool-down periods, staying hydrated and wearing clothing that is appropriate for the exercise.
Tip #4: Make fitness a group project
One of the problems with staying fit is that exercise can be boring, making it something that is easy to dodge when something better comes along. Thus, another of the helpful fitness tips for retirees is to make exercise more of an event than simply a “must-do” task by joining a group that meets regularly to work out together.
Options include joining a gym with group classes, hooking up with a local jogging or yoga group, or just walking dogs with a friend or two is another option. According to the cdc.gov article, “3 Reasons to Work Out With a Friend,” working out with others can help seniors stay motivated, have more fun and improve consistency. At Sonrisa Senior Living we get it so we offer residents a range of options from personal trainers in the fitness center, a yoga and dance studio, water fitness classes, and pickleball, bocce ball and horseshoes for a little outdoor competitive play.
Tip #5: Break it up
It’s easy to get into an exercise rut and lose interest so another of the fitness tips for retirees is to do different types of exercises each day. Start with cardio/aerobic training, move on to strength exercises, next concentrate on balance and then work on flexibility. These can be in a series each day or a different exercise each day to keep it interesting. Also consciously include exercise in normal daily activities like gardening, housecleaning, biking instead of driving to visit friends, and even playing with a pet. For an exercise overview, check out the forbes.com article, “A Guide To The Best Exercises For Seniors.”
Tip #6: Reward yourself
Whether exercising just because it’s healthy or to achieve a goal like losing weight, lowering blood sugar, improving blood pressure, or staving off depression, exercise is hard work so another of the best fitness tips for retirees is to reward yourself when you reach a goal. Maybe this means increasing a walk or run from one mile to two, getting a lower A1C report from the doctor, or losing a few pounds, all show your efforts are paying off. For how others do it, take a look at the community.myfitnesspal.com forum, “How do you reward yourself for meeting your fitness goal?”
Staying fit and active is crucial to a retirement that is all it should be and more. Find out what awaits in our “Active Adult Decision Guide” then contact us to learn more about Sonrisa Senior Living.