Staying Fit as An Older Adult
You’re getting older and starting to realize that staying fit as an older adult is not as easy when doing your best to pursue an active lifestyle. It’s still tempting to go to the gym and jump into a new workout routine full speed ahead, but you now hurt in places you never had an issue with before. You also recognize that you’re at a higher risk of injury.
You may want to get back into your twenty to thirty-something shape and continue to reap the benefits of an active lifestyle, including increased strength, improved balance, and better overall health however, as an older adult, you have to take more precautions and approach your fitness routine thoughtfully.
Staying fit as an older adult, without risking injury, doesn’t have to be intimidating. But while it's admirable to strive for physical fitness, you also want to make sure you take the time to stretch, choose low-impact exercises, and practice strength training. Your body will thank you!
You can still reap all the benefits of exercise, you just have to be smart about it.
As you get older, your body is slower to respond to sudden movements. Taking the time to warm up can help you get through your workout, without pulling a muscle, and improve your performance. As tempting as it is to start training at your previous fitness level, you don’t want to learn the hard way to start slow and gradually increase your intensity.
Stretching helps you stay flexible during the workout, but it is also essential after your workout to spend a few minutes stretching again. Staying flexible will help your body gradually return to its pre-exercise state to prevent muscle soreness or cramps, and keep you limber to avoid injury if you push your body too hard.
Focus on your form, instead of the speed or amount of repetitions As you start any new physical activity, it's important to make it a habit to ensure your form is correct. Not only will this help you avoid injury, but it will also help you get the most out of each exercise.
It's good to challenge yourself, but it's also important to not miss an entire week of training due to an injury. Listen to your body, take breaks when you need to, and be sure to stay within your comfort zone until you get stronger.
Consider low-impact exercises. Running and jumping can be hard on your joints, so it’s best to avoid putting that kind of stress on your knees. Instead, opt for activities like walking, swimming, and cycling. These activities offer a good cardio workout without putting too much strain on your joints.
Finally, think about strength training. Strength training can help increase bone density and muscle mass, both of which are important for older adults. Start with light weights and focus on doing exercises that target your core. This will help you develop a strong foundation to perform daily functions.
When you’re picking an exercise plan, make sure that it’s tailored to your specific needs. As an older adult, it’s important to pick exercises that are both safe and effective. Talk to your doctor or a certified fitness trainer to ensure you’re engaging in activities appropriate for your age and physical condition.
For those of you that need help with targeting exercises that match your current fitness level, seek a professional fitness trainer that specializes in training older adults and can create a program that accounts for any medical condition that may limit your physical capability.
Discovering new ways for staying fit as an older adult is a great way to improve your overall health, get active, and enjoy the journey. By following these simple tips, you can stay fit and active without risking injury. So, what are you waiting for? Get up, get moving, and live life to the fullest!