As we get older, our bodies become less flexible, and our endurance decreases. However, no matter how old you are, regular exercise is still incredibly important, as it can improve your mental and physical well-being, lower the risk of falls, and prevent various diseases. Even if you’ve never been really into physical activity, it’s still not too late to start.
However, at a certain age, you need to be smart about exercising. After all, it doesn’t take much to get injured, but recovering from a muscle sprain can take even up to a few weeks. Luckily, you can follow a few precautions and tips to ensure nothing disrupts your workout routine.
For instance, seniors should focus on proper hydration and avoid exercising without a thorough warm-up. It also may be a good idea to have a workout buddy and to prioritize light activity. Read on below for more details, and be ready to get moving!
Get Doctor’s Advice
Before you start putting together your brand new exercise routine, make sure to contact your primary care doctor first. After all, they know your health history better than anyone else, so it’s best to ask whether they have any concerns or recommendations.
Aside from completing a health checkup, your doctor can advise you on what kinds of exercises are suitable for your age and existing health conditions you may be dealing with. For example, if you have arthritis, you should avoid high-impact aerobics. People with heart issues can focus on swimming and biking, while those who need to strengthen their muscles should opt for yoga or pilates.
Find a Workout Buddy
Having a workout buddy is one of the best things you can do for yourself, especially if you need extra motivation to start exercising. It’s not only more fun to have someone else to joke around with, but it also keeps you accountable.
If you know that your friend is counting on you to go to the gym together or start a workout session at your home, then you’re less likely to cancel at the last minute. With someone else by your side, you’ll also be much safer. Injuries can happen at any time, and when you’re older, it may be a good idea to have someone who will help you right away in case you get hurt.
Don’t Skip the Warm-Up
Before you start a workout, make sure to spend a few minutes warming up. This will help your body get ready for the activity and lower the risk of injuries. A good warm-up routine should include some stretching or light jogging. Do this for at least five minutes before starting your exercise routine.
Furthermore, warming up also increases your circulation, enhances your performance, and prevents you from getting sore while exercising. Remember to start slowly and gradually pick up the pace. Your warm-up should last for about five to ten minutes. Once your heart rate and breathing increase, you’re ready to go!
Remember to Hydrate
As we age, our total body water and thirst perceptions change. This means that seniors are much more susceptible to dehydration than younger people and should be careful when exercising. It’s essential to pay attention to how much fluids you drink in a day Otherwise, you may end up dealing with dizziness, headaches, or light-headedness.
The best way to ensure proper hydration is to drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks, such as juices and soda pop. You can also choose store-bought drinks enriched with electrolytes or get electrolyte powder and mix it with your water.
Take it Slow
It’s easy to get overzealous when we decide to start exercising and are excited by the idea of getting more fit. After all, you’re probably eager to see results right away. However, this is not always a good idea, especially if you’re over sixty-five.
Remember that your body needs time to adjust. It’s not uncommon to get injured while working out too hard too soon. Take your time, and don’t push yourself too hard. The most important thing is consistency, so work out as often as you can handle it.
Wear the Right Attire
It’s important to be properly dressed when you work out, as the proper attire is essential for staying comfortable during various exercises. Make sure that you wear clothing that will allow you to move comfortably with no restrictions and complete all the exercises you want to do.
Even if you’re just walking around the neighborhood or doing yoga in the comfort of your home, it’s always a good idea to dress in something breathable and not too loose. However, if you’re planning to go outdoors, make sure you wear clothes that can protect you from the sun and other weather conditions, such as rain, wind, and low temperatures.
As you can see, there are many ways seniors can benefit from regular exercise. Regardless of what type of activity you choose, the important thing is to stay active and healthy, no matter your age. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift weights – instead, simply try something new and fun.
Still, bear in mind that the older you get, the more safety precautions you may need to take. For instance, it’s always a good idea to seek a doctor’s advice before you get active. You can also find a workout buddy who will keep you motivated. When starting out, take things slow. Always complete your warm-up, remember about proper hydration, and wear the right workout attire. Good luck!