1. FIRST, HAVE A CHAT WITH YOUR GP
As we get older, it’s always a good idea to check in with our General Practitioners (GPs) for regular health check-ups. GPs can check your blood pressure, cholesterol and heart health and also measure your waistline to ensure you’re in a healthy condition before kick starting any new fitness programs.
2. CUT DOWN ON ALCOHOL
As you get older, different health issues may develop as you age that alcohol can affect in different ways. Cutting back on alcohol consumption means you’re at less risk of developing long-term health problems such as cancer, heart disease or liver cirrhosis (scarring). You might even lose weight, have more energy and feel better.
3. MOTIVATE YOURSELF
Need a reason to stay fit? How about a longer life? For men, fitness level can predict length of life even better than body mass index (BMI) can, according to a study of more than 14,000 men. As a man’s fitness improved, his risk of death from all causes dropped 15 percent and his risk of death from heart disease was reduced by 19 percent.
4. TRY AND STICK TO THE EXERCISE GUIDELINES
It’s recommended that older adults do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days. If 30 minutes seems too much to you, don’t worry, as some activity, however light, is better for your health than none at all. This could be walking around the block, doing some gardening, or even playing some backyard cricket.
5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
Not too sure where to start when it comes to exercising? No worries! Speak to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Basically, an exercise physiologist specialises in designing and delivering safe and effective exercise programs for all populations. Having a chat with one before undertaking any exercise is a smart move.
6. PUT THE PEDAL TO THE METAL
Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels and lungs all get a workout. You will breathe deeper, sweat and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level.
7. TAKE THE STAIRS
Stair climbing burns more calories than a traditional walk and increases your chance to achieve weight loss. It can help to improve your energy, increase the function of your immune system and lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and heart disease.
8. KEEP THE WEIGHTS ON
No equipment, no worries. Bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, or step ups will help to increase muscle tone, maintain sound strength, build bone density, maintain a healthy weight, optimize metabolic function, and reduce the risk of injury, falls and fatigue. It is recommended a minimum of two sessions per week be conducted to achieve the benefits of this training.
9. RESISTANCE IS KEY
Resistance training is one of the most effective ways to maintain muscle mass as we age. There’s a wide range of benefits of engaging in resistance training, and we listed 22 of them here.
10. KEEP IT SOCIAL
A social exercise group class may not immediately ease your arthritis or make your shoulder range amazing but if you have a good time doing it, you’ll feel better. Feeling better means you’ll be more likely to go back again to help kick start those health benefits. Even exercising with a buddy can help keep you accountable ensuring you both get your body moving and heart pumping.