You are never too old to get in shape. In fact, there are benefits to getting started, even if you have been sedentary your whole life. These tips can help.
It’s never too late
Harvard Health advises getting started by 65 when your heart and joints are still relatively strong. Even if you are older than 65 you’ll still reap benefits from being active. These include improved cardiovascular health, healthy blood sugar, stronger bones, and improved functional fitness. You may even find that exercise helps you sleep more soundly, build muscle, trim your waistline and manage stress better. If you are older than 65 it may be a good idea to check with your healthcare provider for the all-clear before getting started.
What kind of exercise is best?
Any moderate-intensity exercise you enjoy is ideal. Walking is a good habit to adopt because it is easy to adjust to your fitness level. To reap the benefits of exercise, aim for at least 30-minutes at moderate intensity most days each week. Other good options include swimming and biking because these low-impact exercises get your heart rate up and are gentle on your joints.
It is ok to challenge yourself
Just because you are older does not mean you can’t take the training wheels off. Go ahead and challenge yourself to hit new personal bests. The key is to prepare your body and embrace realistic goals. Have you always wanted to run or walk a race? Go for it! Just don’t start with the marathon. Sign up for a 5-k and build stamina from there.
Warm-up and cool down
Give your muscles time to warm up before you demand too much from them. Be sure to leave enough time for a cool down so your heart has time to transition. Rest days matter, too. Young or older, bodies need time for recovery or cross-training.
Start where you are
Does walking feel daunting? Don’t use that as an excuse not to move more. Start where you are! You can exercise in a chair. Use small hand weights and gentle stretching to prepare yourself for the next phase of your exercise plan.
Exercise is a healthy choice no matter your age. You can reap benefits that extend the quality of your life even if you start in your golden years. No time like the present. Grab a friend or join a crew to get started…today.