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Staying in shape can be a challenge, particularly as we age. Though we know that working out is good for us, it's easy to make excuses for why we aren't physically active. Studies show that only 22% of senior adults engage in regular exercise. It's time to change this statistic!
Investing in your health is an investment in your future. Skim this list of simple fitness tips to get yourself motivated for a fit and fulfilling life!
1.) Engage in relaxed aerobic exercise!
Aerobic exercise benefits the body in numerous ways. In addition to strengthening the heart and lungs, aerobic exercises (sometimes referred to as "cardio") also strengthen large muscle groups throughout the body.
Many people imagine that aerobic exercise will leave them out-of-breath and exhausted. This, however, is not the goal of aerobic activity! Fitness trainers recommend that participants exercise at a level where they can still comfortably converse with those around them.
A tremendous variety of sports and activities are considered aerobic exercise. Walking, jogging, and running are naturally considered aerobic sports. Swimming and water aerobics are two great alternatives for those who enjoy spending time at the pool. Dancing, workouts like Jazzercise, and elliptical training are also popular choices. Be sure to choose an activity that you'll enjoy doing for at least half an hour, three to five days a week.
For older adults who struggle with back, hip, knee, or ankle pain or who are more than 50 pounds overweight, cycling is an excellent low-impact sport. Whether you train on an indoor machine or ride on local biking paths, this aerobic exercise is one of the best choices for older adults who experience pain from other aerobic activities.
2.) Use YouTube to get fit at home!
Do you feel like a gym membership isn't worth paying for? Ditch the gym and start working out at home instead!
YouTube and other online resources make it easier than ever to get fit without even leaving your living room. Consider purchasing a yoga mat, exercise ball, and a few hand weights. Now simply search YouTube for the workout you'd like to do!
Fitness Blender is a great resource for those who are new to home exercise. There are a wide variety of cardio workouts available, and most of them don’t require additional workout equipment! Many of their fitness routines, such as this low-impact cardio workout, require no tools and can be completed in less than 10 minutes.
If you're interested in trying a new athletic activity, simply browse YouTube to find a clip that meets your needs. From classic Jane Fonda workout tapes to modern Pilates training, you can definitely find a fun and free home workout you enjoy.
3.) Get fit with others.
If you're not naturally inclined to exercise on your own, it's very possible that you'll eventually give up on your fitness regimen. Don't let this happen to you! If you struggle to stay motivated, recruit a friend to get in shape alongside you. Whether you're walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, it's always easier to stick to your fitness plan when you've committed to working out with someone else.
For an extra boost of motivation, consider signing up for a fitness class at your local community center. The types of exercise offered through these courses are often more diverse and engaging than the activities you can do at home. Try a ballroom dancing class, zumba, or even kickboxing. If you're feeling self-conscious about your age, join a course targeted at adults over the age of 50.
Feel free to sample a few different sports until you find an activity you genuinely love. By finding an exercise routine that you enjoy, you'll have a much better chance of staying fit for years to come.
4.) Set realistic goals for yourself.
Many individuals accidentally set unreasonable fitness goals for themselves. No one magically becomes a slim, muscled fitness guru after just two weeks of exercise! Your fitness level at your current age isn't comparable to the fitness you could achieve at the age of 18. If you're persistent, however, your efforts will pay off.
Your body may struggle to adjust to your new athletic routine. Don't berate yourself for being out of shape, and give yourself a day or two of rest if you're feeling sore and weary. Likewise, don't measure your success by the number on your scale. A pound of fat actually takes up four times more space than a pound of muscle tissue! Even if the scale reads the same number, your body will grow slimmer with regular exercise.
Exercising can be fun when you discover the athletic activities that you truly enjoy. By finding the fitness techniques that work for you, exercise can truly become a truly fulfilling and enjoyable part of your everyday life.
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