Fact: You are getting older. The good news is you are also getting wiser. That means you know it is more important than ever to stay physically fit. A perk of that newfound wisdom is an enlightened perspective. Fitness goals have evolved. Case in point: The bikini in the back of your closet conjures pleasant memories instead of abject angst.
Senior fitness is about developing and preserving the strength, balance, and flexibility necessary to maintain an active, independent lifestyle. The couch is not your friend – unless it’s the place you relax after your daily fitness routine.
If physical activity is a new addition to your priority list, fear not. The path to fitness is personal and different for each individual. As you lace up those brand-new sneakers, try not to create lofty, unattainable goals. Instead, simply focus on doing more than you have before. As you become more comfortable with daily activity, maybe this list of senior exercise challenges will inspire.
Yes, walking 10,000 steps per day is one of those aforementioned lofty goals. But don’t be intimidated. As you start your walking regimen, remember that famous Chinese proverb: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Walking is an easy way to get moving. All you need to do is put on a reliable pair of shoes and step out the door. Your fall walks come with a gift from Mother Nature. Let your fitness tracker count your steps as you enjoy her fall splendor. Walking is a great leg strengthening exercise for seniors as well as a wonderful way to spend time with friends. It’s a win/win.
Park a Little Farther from the Door
One way to rack up those desired steps is to throw some extra challenges into your daily activities. For example, if you have an errand at the mall, don’t look for the parking spot closest to the entrance. Park a little farther away and reap the benefits. You’ll hardly notice the extra effort – but the fitness tracker will. If you’re doing household chores, do an extra lap around the living room. Get creative to give your fitness level a little extra push.
Give Your Fitness Regimen a Lift
Once you’re up and moving, consider adding strength training into the mix. Don’t panic. Nobody is asking you to be Arnold Schwarzenegger. Start with workouts that use your own body weight and gradually work up to light free weights that fit your comfort level. Building strength is critical to maintaining muscle mass, and bone density. The stronger you are, the better you will be able to keep up with those active toddlers. Won’t they love it when you are playing the game instead of watching from the sidelines.
Get in the Swim
If you are lucky enough to live in an Overture senior apartment, you will have access to an Olympic sized pool. There is no better, more joint friendly way to enhance cardiovascular health than swimming laps. Start with one lap and gradually challenge yourself with more as you build up your endurance. If laps don’t float your boat, join a water aerobics class. Presto! An exercise session and social opportunity rolled into one.
Believe it or not, according to a recent study, one of the biggest challenges facing seniors is the inability to stand up once they are down on the floor. Practicing the movements involved with getting down on the floor and returning to a standing position is a great core exercise for seniors and helps improve strength and flexibility. If you want to get on the floor and play with those grandkids, remember, what goes down, must come up.
Make it a Team Challenge
Nothing inspires and motivates like being part of a team. Once you take the plunge and rightsize into the Overture active adult community of your choice, you’ll have all the resources you need to create a personalized fitness plan. That includes the most important component: Like-minded peers. Book a tour today. Your fellow fitness buffs are just waiting to face this fall’s fitness challenges as part of your team.
How’s this for a team motto: Use it or lose it.