As we age, it can sometimes feel harder to find the right exercise programs. We want to do something safe and effective that gets results without pain or injury. And most importantly, we want to enjoy what we do!
We should start by saying that it’s always a good idea to run any fitness plan by your doctor who knows you, your goals, and any areas of concern or limitations. But in general, you want exercise that focuses on strength, mobility and balance. These areas will help you maintain your quality of life in day-to-day activities.
Keeping in mind your starting point, it is recommended to exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Now let’s get to the fun part! What activities are best?
Swimming: Especially as so many of us head South for warmer temperatures, water activities are often available. Whether you choose to swim or walk laps, or join a water aerobics class, you can work your heart and your muscles in a safe, low impact way. You can even bring your phone along for all of your watersport activities with an Aqua waterproof phone armband!
Walking: The old myth that you have to run to get your heart rate up just isn’t true. Walking is a great, low impact cardio workout, especially if you can add an incline or increase your pace a bit. It’s a bonus that you don’t need any extra equipment and can get some vitamin D while you walk.
Yoga: Admittedly, yoga is a tough activity to start. If flexibility is not your strong suit, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable. But the combination of lengthening your muscles and working on balance, makes it the perfect activity. Keep a chair nearby for the balance moves, just in case you need to reach out to steady yourself. And never be afraid to modify poses if your body isn't quite there yet.
Stationary Bike: While hitting the road is always exhilarating, it comes with extra risks of weather and traffic. A stationary bike (they’ve come a long way) can provide the same low impact movement without the worry. Get one with a screen and choose between guided workouts and scenic rides. For extra comfort, make sure to treat yourself to a gel seat cover!
Resistance Bands: These easy-to-store bands can help with strength training without the need for weights. They allow you to get a little extra resistance to work those muscles. Bonus that they can travel easily when you’re on the go.
With any exercise, we highly recommend inviting a friend. It’s safer and more fun! And don’t forget to always carry your phone in an Armpocket armband to protect from drops, weather, and sweat, to track your workouts, and just in case you need to make a phone call.
Try something new, do what you love!