How to Start Working Out Later in Life
July 8, 2019
The cliche image of an elderly person in a rocking chair presumes that older adults can’t (or shouldn’t) engage in physical activities. Retirees do deserve to live life at a slower pace if they so choose, but generally an inactive lifestyle is not recommended. Actually, exercise is one of the best ways for people of all ages to stay healthy! Tapestry’s three communities are designed to encourage residents to remain active and enjoy wellness at every age.
Here are a few tips for older adults planning to start exercising, for the first time, or after a long break.
Step 1: Get a Health Assessment
A thorough physical exam by a doctor can help older adults understand their limitations. Individuals with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or osteoarthritis will need to adjust workouts to accommodate their health conditions safely. Greater fitness could even aid in the management of chronic diseases.
Step 2: Choose Activities
Once you understand your health parameters, go ahead and select a few exercises you think you’ll enjoy. Choosing things you like to do increases the chances that you’ll stick with the routine and reap the benefits over the long-term. Ideally, a workout program should include cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and balance exercises.
Here are a few exercise options older adults will be sure to love:
- Strength training with weights, machines or resistance bands
- Tai chi
And don’t forget to stretch before and after a workout!
Step 3: Start Slowly and Monitor Progress
It’s best for newbie exercisers to start with five-to-ten minute sessions. At first, try short initial workouts to reduce the chance of injury. Every week, you can add on a few more minutes. Although you might be excited about your new lifestyle, don’t overdo it by working out every day: every second day allows time for recovery.
When strength training, older adults could start with no weights or very light weights, focusing first on getting their movements correct before increasing weights. Chairs could be used for support to help people overcome difficulties with mobility or balance.
Motivation is essential when it comes to sticking with a workout routine. Keeping a diary about exercise progress or collecting data with a fitness tracker can keep you excited and engaged with the process. As you see your progress over time you’ll likely gain a sense of accomplishment and want to keep going.
Regular exercise has many benefits, including diminishing the effects of aging. Not only can regular movement help halt or even reverse muscle loss, exercise will also help improve balance and reduce the risk of falling.
Here at Tapestry, you’ll find no shortage of activities to engage in. Along with a monthly activity calendar, Tapestry employs fitness instructors and kinesiologists who provide expertise and assessments for every interested resident. Visit our Event Calendar page and select the community location relevant to you to find out what types of exercises classes, which include yoga and weight training, and outdoor excursions we have coming up.