It’s Never Too Late
For many of us who have reached our senior years, we’re starting to find that the years we’ve spent ignoring our health and fitness are now starting to catch up with us. Senior fitness is something that we’d really like to achieve, but it seems that our bodies just won’t well enough any more to enable that goal.
Things were different when we were growing up to how they are today. There was a lot less emphasis on what is today known as a “work/life balance” and a lot more on just plain hard work. There simply wasn’t much attention paid then to organized fitness and health – they just sort of happened didn’t they?
Well, the good news is that it’s never too late to start on the fitness path! We’ve combed the interweb thingy to come up with some great senior fitness tips for you. Depending on your current levels of fitness and physical ability, you may find some of these beyond your current ability, but you’ll definitely manage at least some:
Stepping Out – The Easiest Senior Fitness Tip Of All
It sounds somewhat trite, but just the simple act of walking is one of the best and easiest fitness habits of all. The problem is that mostly we don’t organize and plan our walking, it just sort of happens.
The first thing is to buy yourself a simple pedometer so that you can properly count the number of steps you’re actually making in a day. They really aren’t expensive, you should be able to pick one up for around $10 or so, but you’ll be amazed at how much that tiny expenditure can change your life.
The ultimate goal is to do a regular 10,000 steps a day at least 3 to 4 times a week. Now that may sound quite daunting, because it really is quite a high figure – in actual fact, for an average adult that equates to about 5 miles. The thing to understand though is that this is an ultimate goal. Just take it (literally!) a few steps at a time. Aim to try 1,000 thousand steps initially and gradually work your way up. You’ll be amazed at how much difference even this small number will make to your health and fitness if done regularly.
Oh No – Not The Stairs!
Yes, I know that climbing up and down stairs is a bummer and that using the elevator is just so much easier. The fact is however that climbing up and down half a dozen flights of stairs a day is one of the best senior fitness boosters of all.
The simple act of defying gravity hugely increases the energy required to move the body from one position to another, and therefore does wonders for trimming down the belly and increasing muscle tone, strength and balance. It also means that you can burn up calories at a much quicker rate that simply by just walking.
Many of us seniors will have one bum knee. If this is the case for you then follow this advice: “up with the good and down with the bad”. What is meant by this is to lead with the good leg when walking up the stairs, and with the bad leg when going downstairs.
Add a few flights of stairs to your life each day and just see what happens with your fitness, you’ll be surprised.
We all have to site down sometimes, especially true as we get older.
That doesn’t mean however that we can’t make constructive use of this time when it comes to our senior fitness program. It’s quite easy to boost your core strength – essential for muscle tone and balance – while sitting at your computer or just watching some TV. All you need to do is to follow these steps:
- shuffle forward so that you’re sitting on the edge of the chair
- sit tall and erect
- slowly lean back until your shoulders or lower back touch the chair (depending on it’s back height)
- just as slowly, come back up again, keeping you body straight at all times
You’ll feel how tight your stomach muscles are while doing this. Try 5 repetitions half a dozen times a day.
Squatting is a great way to strengthen leg muscles and prevent the necessity for a walking cane.
Don’t worry, we’re not advocating the super squats that the younger gym addicts do! These squats are simple and gentle. Just follow these steps:
- stand up straight and as tall as possible, with your feet shoulder width apart
- drop your hips back and stick out your butt
- bend your knees as if you were sitting – don’t worry if you can’t bend far at first
- hold for a couple of seconds
- slowly straighten your knees and come back to the upright position
Make sure that your knees don’t come further forward that your toes. You’ll be dangerously unbalanced if you do.Try to work up to 10 repetitions 3 times daily.
It’s never too late to start on your senior fitness journey. So don’t put things off any longer.
All of us are ultimately responsible for our own health and well-being and all of the above tips will greatly help in this. Don’t try them all at once, just start with whatever you find easiest. The key thing is to: JUST START!