If you think only young people can enjoy an active lifestyle, think again. Finding a workable exercise routine, one that is appropriate to your limitations and capability, and then embracing it, is crucial to longevity. There’s no reason why, just because you’re in your golden years, you can’t be active to some extent. If that means walking the grounds at your independent living community, floating around in the pool for a while, and attending dances occasionally – so be it. You’re getting up, you’re moving, and that’s what matters.
The following will be some fitness tips for retirees. They won’t be exercises, per se, but things to keep in mind as you decide what type of exercise regime to pursue.
Use Rewards and Goals
Set up goals. When you achieve them, reward yourself. You walked to the end of the driveway today, so you get a relaxing bubble bath. You walked to the end of the block after that, so you get to rent a movie you’ve been waiting to watch. You get the idea.
Slow and Easy as You Go
There is no hurry here. Easy does it. You’re not looking to break any world records, just move around a little bit more than you used to. You can increase your activity level as you go, if you wish. Don’t get discouraged or feel overwhelmed by a workout that is too intense or too long. When you get tired, stop. You’ll do a little more tomorrow. Then a little more the next day.
Your Body Is Talking – Listen
Granted, particularly if you’re new to exercise, your muscles might be a bit sore after your first session. That’s to be expected. Out and out pain, however, should not be part of your routine. If it hurts, don’t do it. Consult your physician before you start working out, and if any of the following occur, seek the advice of a caregiver sooner than later:
- Persistent pain
- Joint swelling
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain (if severe, call 911 immediately)
To help you enjoy your exercise routine (see below), consider the kinds of exercises that can be done with a friend or in a group. Yoga class, Jazzercise, swimming, dances, walks – all of these can be done with at least one person, if not a number of others.
Very few people are going to stick with an exercise program they don’t enjoy. Find some type of physical activity you find pleasurable. You’re far more likely to want to exercise if you can have fun doing it. Take walks with friends. Participate in dance lessons. Go for a swim in the pool with a friend. There are lots of options.
Why Exercise Is Important for Retirees
In your golden years, exercise is particularly beneficial for the following reasons:
- Reduces the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, and other conditions
- Strengthens your immune system
- Helps you avoid injuries and falls through increased balance and mobility
- Throughout the day, boosts your energy levels and focus as the result of improved quality of sleep (because you’re more active during the day)
- Reduces stress and improves your mood
- The risk of memory loss and other cognitive problems may decrease
Exercise or Relax – or Both – in Our Independent Living Community
Take a dip in the pool with a friend, or take a walk on our beautifully manicured grounds – you have many options. The important thing is to enjoy your golden years to their fullest. With all the amenities offered in our community, that’s an easy endeavor.