As we age it’s easier to fall into a sedentary lifestyle, especially if you’re suffering from a host of aches and pains. Not only is moving more great for your overall well-being but it’s also a good way to help relieve some of those aches and pains. Moving more and being more active doesn’t have to require a membership to the gym or strenuous exercise. There are simple ways you can move more through the day and get added exercise!
Walking is probably one of the most simple and fundamental ways to move more. We’ve all heard that you should walk 10,000 steps a day to stay fit. Regardless of how many steps you take, the fact that you’re moving more makes a world of difference. Walking has been linked to healthy joints, even if you suffer from arthritis or any other type of condition that prevents strenuous physical activity.
The key to moving more is starting off small. You can do this simply by parking further away from a store and walking the extra distance, taking more walks with your furry friend, or taking a stroll around the block! There are a ton of affordable pedometers on the market that can help you keep track of your progress — or you can use your phone or smartwatch!
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator helps you build strength, balance, and burn calories. You don’t need to get all Rocky and run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs, but simply taking the stairs to the second or third floor at the doctor’s is very helpful! If you have bad knees this might be a little more difficult and you shouldn’t push yourself. As a rule of thumb for stair climbing, it’s best to go up with your good knee and down with the bad, so your good leg takes the lead.
If you’re unsure about incorporating stair climbing into your daily activities, discuss it with your doctor so you can devise a plan of action.
Sign Up for a Class
Taking a fitness class can help keep you motivated and be more fun than solo activities. There are all types of group classes available for seniors. Just see what’s available near you! Some class ideas include line dancing (great cardio), aqua aerobics (very low impact and great if you’re not a good swimmer), Tai Chi (focus your mind and body), and senior yoga classes. Take a friend with you or meet new friends!
Looking for an incredible heart-healthy activity that doesn’t require walking or running? Swimming is your golden ticket! This low-impact activity is great for folks who have mobility issues while still giving you a cardio workout. You don’t need to train like you’re swimming part of the Iron Man competition. Just a few laps around the pool does your heart good! Not a strong swimmer? As we previously mentioned, water aerobics is a great option as a low-impact exercise, especially for those who suffer from joint pain.
Getting more active is important to senior health and fitness. It’s always best to get clearance from your doctor before starting any type of fitness routine and discuss any type of nutritional changes you’ll need to make to coordinate goals. Once you’re cleared, get out there and get moving. Your body and mind will thank you! How do you plan to make your day more active?