We often think of fitness as something for the young. As we start to get a little older, we assume that it’s too late to think about exercise, or that our bodies wouldn’t be able to cope with working out. But once we hit 60, things start to change. You might stop working, or at least slow down, which can mean that you burn fewer calories, use your muscles less and generally live a more sedentary lifestyle. When you were younger, you might have been able to stay in shape without much effort, and it’s common for fitness levels to slide as we get older.
This can mean that we gain weight, lose flexibility, our postures weaken, and we risk many health issues. Fortunately, it’s never too late to improve our health and fitness, or even to start exercise for the very first time. Exercising in later life can improve your fitness, but also your mental wellbeing. As an older person, however, it’s important not to rush in. To learn how to take your time and increase your fitness slowly, check out these few tips.
Consider a Bigger Lifestyle Change
Once you are 60, two of the bigger things that might put you off working out are not knowing what to do and having no one to exercise with. Loneliness and isolation are something that affects many seniors. A big lifestyle change, like moving into an independent living community from Brandywine Living gives you access to fitness classes and groups, suitable for your stage of life, but also plenty of people with shared interests and experiences to exercise with. Moving into assisted living offers plenty of ways to improve your overall quality of life, not least by giving you ways to stay active and improve your health and fitness.
Build Up Slowly
If you’ve never exercised, you aren’t going to run a marathon in the next few weeks. You might never reach these levels of fitness. But that doesn’t mean that your achievements aren’t valid. Start slowly with gentle walks, yoga, swimming, and fitness classes for seniors, and build up very gradually. Remember, things like walking and gardening are fantastic exercise, and you certainly don’t need to be getting sweaty in a gym to improve your health and fitness.
Listen to Your Body
It’s normal to ache after exercise, especially if you are doing new things and using your muscles in different ways for the first time. Make sure you take rest days and stretch out before and after exercise. But also learn to trust your body. If something doesn’t feel right, stop and check-in with your doctor.
Fuel Your Body
If you are asking your body to do more, you need to give it the fuel that it needs to keep up. Get plenty of sleep, hydrate during and after exercise, and eat plenty of energy-boosting foods, adding extra protein to your diet to help recovery and muscle growth.
It’s never too late to start exercising, and the benefits are vast at any stage of life. Just remember to take things slowly, to warm up and cool down, and most importantly of all, to enjoy yourself.