Easy routines for staying fit in midlife and beyond
When the weather starts to warm up, there’s nothing like heading outside for a brisk walk or even a leisurely stroll around the block to do a little bud watching and drink in the freshness of the spring air.
As we age, it’s important to continue to stay as active as possible – even in small, simple ways. If your goal is to stay healthy or improve your health, adults and seniors who are generally fit and have no health concerns that limit their mobility should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, and complete strength exercises on two or more days per week.1 To find out more about these guidelines, read our Move it or lose it article.
But of course any extra exercise is beneficial, and there are some simple ways to stay active as you age:
- Get a fitness tracker device. Trackers like FitBit, Jawbone Up and the Samsung Gear 2 Watch can help you stay motivated to keep moving and to reach your fitness goals. They track the number of steps you take, but can also help you count calories, monitor the quality of your sleep, check your heart rate and count the number of stairs you’ve climbed. For more information on fitness trackers check out our Not your dad’s pedometer article.
- Choose to move. If you’re able, always choose the stairs over an escalator or elevator, park your car further away than you have to, walk or bike to work, and take a stroll to a local cafe to get your morning coffee instead of making it at home. Be aware of all the small, simple ways you can add extra movement and exercise into your day.
- Become a mall walker. Many malls now open their doors early to allow walkers in to stroll the corridors before stores open. This allows you to walk in a safe, climate-controlled environment. As an added bonus, if you walk with a friend or two, you can have a coffee together after your walk when the stores have opened – and even do a little shopping as a reward! Read more about mall walking.
- Mark it in your calendar. When you’re retired, it can be easy to become more sedentary than you used to be. You are of course entitled to slow down and relax, but consider making getting out and moving part of your daily routine. When you make exercise a priority – just like you used to prioritize meetings and projects – it’ll be easier to see it as an important part of your day.
- Don’t do it alone. There’s strength in numbers, so check out your local community or seniors center to see what exercise classes and workshops are being offered there. You might also check to see if there are any walking clubs in your area that are taking on new members. In addition to getting your body moving, you may meet new friends and expand your social circle.
Staying mentally fit is just as important as keeping your body moving, so read our article on Wellderly Week for some great suggestions for growing old with gusto.