The Importance of Staying Active as a Senior
Today we wanted to share an informative Guest Post by Harley Petrina. Please use the information personally, or share her helpful advice on how to stay active as we age, with your family and friends. Please see Harley’s Bio below.
Getting Older? Stay Active!
When people stop exercising, especially as they get older, their risk goes up for developing partially preventable ailments such as heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure, increases. The good news is that a little bit of daily exercise goes a long way. Although exercise may seem difficult when you’re just starting out, each time you approach the activity it becomes easier and easier. For older people, small amounts of exercise can lead to major results.
Create a Plan
Like any type of adjustment to your daily routine that affects your health, it is important to consult your physician. Your doctor should help you create a plan that best serves your needs. Your plan should include goals with the exercises necessary to achieve those goals in the quickest and safest way possible.
Stay in touch with your physician and always mention things like prolonged soreness, pain, or other negative changes. Keep in mind that overdoing it, especially for an older person who hasn’t been very active recently, isn’t the best approach.
How to Begin
Starting out by setting aside 10 – 20 minutes a day for activity. Activities can include anything from walking a specific distance (even in a mall or grocery store), to doing mild aerobics or light housework or yard work.
Once exercising begins to get easier, add additional activities and extend your ‘active’ time each day. Additional activities can include doing household chores, walking up and down stairs rather than taking an escalator, or parking a little further away from the store than usual. Little activities can add up to big results.
Pick the Right Routine
Make sure your workout program is a good fit for you. Depending upon the goals you discussed with your doctor, make sure you enjoy working out. The biggest way to kill a workout program is to dread doing it. Have some fun! It’s difficult to motivate yourself when you dread the workout activity.
If you enjoy getting together with friends, include a walk at the mall, or, if you enjoy dancing, bowling or other sports (tennis anyone?), plan to do these weekly. You can also try a group fitness class where many people complete the recommended amount of weekly exercise without even noticing it. Group activities are motivational, and an added benefit is an opportunity to make some new friends.
Activities for Advanced Age
Being active is beneficial no matter how old we are. Even if you are advanced in age, similar activities are helpful. These can include household chores, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, or parking a little further away from the store than usual. All physical activity helps.
One often-unexplored avenue to achieving fitness is volunteer work. Places like hospitals keep their volunteers mobile. You may be engaged in activities such as showing a patient or visitor to the right area of the hospital, delivering flowers, or bringing gifts. Volunteer work can be a great way to not only get the exercise you need, but also to become a positive asset to your community.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that age isn’t a good reason not to be active, but it is a good reason to increase our activity level. A lot of jobs require us to sit at our desk for hours on end. It is mandatory while we are working, but when we retire, we have the time to be active. If you take advantage of that time you may prevent some ailments and lead a happier life.
My name is Harley Petrina, I work with a small team of mission-driven creatives called SeniorPlanning (https://www.seniorplanning.org/), based in Arizona. We collaborate with people and organizations who are working on Caregiving. We raise consciousness, and steer humanity toward wiser, more sustainable modes of living and being in the world.
Jacob Edward is the manager of Senior Planning and ALTCS in Phoenix, Arizona. Senior Planning has helped numerous families navigate complicated terrain of long-term care, guiding people towards the many available senior services in Arizona.
We hope you enjoyed Harley’s message and want to thank you for spending part of your day with us! Wishing you the best of Health!