Staying active is an important priority at any age, but even more so when we get older with our bodies and minds sometimes requiring an extra layer of care to get the best from our life. With so many sources of information pulling us one way and the other, it’s hard to find a source of truth that will set us on the right course to keeping active as we age. Here we have compiled a list of 7 tips for staying active as we age, and many can be implemented today for results tomorrow.
- Home care packages
Home care packages have been embraced worldwide, with their convenience and holistic approach to care providing seniors with the amenities they need to enjoy a full life and prioritise their own lifestyle. Home care services provided as part of these packages include transport, pet care, groceries, social groups and many more services to support your lifestyle. When this part of your life is being managed, time for activity becomes easily available. Additionally, you can also speak to your home care service provider about finding appropriate fitness groups and organise transport to these groups.
- Incidental exercise
A 4km walk isn’t always feasible regardless of your age. Whether you aren’t up to walk this distance or don’t have the time to commit to a long walk, there are other ways to get in your steps. Incidental exercise is defined as exercise that hasn’t been planned for but occurs naturally throughout your day. It could be the short walk to the mailbox, bus stop, corner store, or a place you may usually use a car to get to.
- Incorporate balancing activities
Balance is something we don’t spend too much time thinking about when we are younger, but it becomes more important to strengthen as we age. You can improve your balance through doing yoga at a studio, or if you prefer, do balancing exercises at home while you watch television or are relaxing. Start your balancing exercises by rising from your chair with both feet flat on the floor, and stand on one foot at a time to get comfortable with your centre of gravity.
- Muscle training
We owe our muscles a great service for keeping us healthy and fit enough to complete our daily tasks and prepare us for the unpredictable, but these muscles need to be maintained as we get older by training regularly. Your arms and legs are the areas you will want to focus on. Train your muscles at home with small hand weights, resistance bands or go for some heavier objects if you’re used to strength training. An example of an exercise you can do in your home is to lie down on your side and extend your leg up and down, which will help build stronger muscles in your legs.
- Make it social
If keeping active is something that is quite new to you, you might be more engaged if you had some friends and family who want to take on this challenge with you. Group aerobics sessions and even Thai Chi can feel like they pass in no time at all when enjoyed amongst friends, so take a look at what group classes are available in your area.
- Speak to your doctor
Before you put these exercises into motion, there might be value in speaking with your doctor about what exercises they recommend, based on your build and any health issues you might have. Rather than dedicating time to an increased cardio regime, you might actually find that weight training is going to give your body what you need.
- Mentally active
Being physically active has so many benefits on the body, but our minds also reap the rewards of this activity. Mindful walking has become something of a movement in recent years, providing mental clarity and working as a stress release as we connect with your outside environment rather than switching to autopilot or looking at our phones on the walk. You might also wish to journal after you exercise, as your mind is open and you might find that you capture some great insights and thoughts on a page that can inspire deep reflection.
Here are 7 tips for keeping active and prioritising your health as you age. It’s important to remember that we are all different and have different capacities for fitness, so don’t compare yourself to your partner or peers and take your activity at your own pace.