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It’s resolution season, as people everywhere spend the first week of January participating in fitness programs and eating better.
And while it’s a great start, to have an impact, those activities have to last into the second week of January, then the start of February and beyond until it’s no longer novel, but just a part of day-to-day life.
In other words, it’s about habits. The best way to achieve health and fitness goals regardless of age is to make something a habit. To do that, it requires seeing tangible progress – without that, the temptation to give up grows.
To that end, setting attainable goals is the best way to give yourself the best chance at keeping these habits going long-term. Furthermore, not only are there the physical benefits to exercise, but there are substantial cognitive and social benefits as well. Furthermore, exercise is one of the best ways for older adults to prevent falls.
In this blog, we offer a few tips on ways to achieve reasonable health and fitness goals.
Of course, before embarking on any new fitness regimen, check with your doctor to get a sense of what your body can and can’t handle. Attempting activities that aren’t right for you can lead to frustration or even injuries that will only cause you to stop.
This seems obvious enough, but nothing can happen without that first step (literally). For older adults, the CDC recommends 150 minutes per week of physical activity for optimal health. On the surface, two and a half hours may seem daunting, but as their website notes, that boils down to 30 minutes, five times a week.
All of a sudden, that seems a lot more reasonable.
Maybe it’s an early morning walk, or signing up for tai chi, or getting a gym membership (the CDC recommends two days a week of strength-based exercise).
But 30 minutes a day, five times a week? That’s a great way to make fitness a habit.
Start With The Basics
Forget about any ads that promise quick results. A proper fitness regimen should focus on long-term gains for healthy living.
So if you’re getting started, don’t assume you can dive right in. Instead, start with the basics. Stretching can be an effective way for older adults who maybe aren’t regularly active to get their bodies primed for a new fitness routine, along with starting with some basic movements.
The website Healthline has some basic strength and balance exercises that are a great starting point for older adults of all ability levels.
Use The Buddy System
A great way to help achieve your goals is to start a fitness program with a friend or loved one. Not only does it help build accountability, but has the added benefit of doing your workout in a more fun, social way. Who doesn’t want to go for a brisk walk with a good friend?
Along those lines, pickleball has become extremely popular among older adults, and has the added benefit of being a social game.
Whether it’s a team sport like pickleball, or joining a walking club, finding other people to participate with helps build both accountability and fun. It can be a great way to stay connected with friends and loved ones, or meet new people. But the more the merrier!
Fitness With Prestige
At Prestige Senior Living, our residents take part in a wide variety of cutting-edge fitness programming to build strength and promote longevity.
To get a sense of what it’s like, follow along with these videos of one of our wellness coaches, Elicia Stewart, demonstrating our popular Energize Exercise fitness program.
Or, if you’d like to join us in person, our communities are holding free Ageless Grace® classes throughout the month of February. Ageless Grace® is a brain-body program designed to stimulate cognitive health as much as physical. It’s performed seated, perfect for older adults of any ability level.
To learn more about the classes, contact the community nearest you to learn about the schedule.