There is a big temptation to take less exercise as we get older; it all seems to take so much more effort.
I certainly noticed this as I turned 60 and it seems to be a mental thing rather than anything to do with waning strength.
In fact, seniors should be doing more suitable exercise than ever. Inactivity between the ages of 50 and 70 is more likely to have negative effects than at other ages.
Here are just a few tips that I wrote down for myself, but which I hope some will find useful.
- First a reminder to be sensible; make sure your health care provider says you can exercise before you get started.
- Start slowly and build up gradually – you don’t have to climb a big hill at the beginning.
- Have a plan and do some exercise every day. A calendar on the wall is helpful. Put a big red cross on each day you exercise – you will soon notice the gaps.
- Warm up at the start of your workout and cool down afterwards. Be kind to those ligaments and tendons.
- Keep breathing! Don’t hold your breath. Breathe out when you lift a weight for example.
- Many older people can still lift weights and benefit greatly from strength training.
- If you are not very mobile, chair exercises give a great workout and there are exercise DVDs for seniors to help you.
- Think of activities that will give your heart a workout; walking, swimming, dancing, cycling. Go for variety.
Regular exercise can reverse the effects of ageing, help you sleep better and lift your mood – go to it!