8 Tips for Being Active in Your Later Years
Physical activity can also strengthen bones and muscles, improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls. It can even increase your chances of living longer! Did you know that three hours of exercise per weeks can increase a person’s lifespan by about five years?
However, only 35-44% of adults 75 years or older are physically active, and 28-34% of adults ages 65-74 are physically active1. If you’re not used to doing regular physical activity, you may not know where to start. Try these tips to set up your new fitness plan:
- Talk to your doctor. Your doctor can tell you how much exercise is best for you. If you have an injury or medical condition, ask about options, and come up with a plan that can improve your range of motion, strength and endurance.
- Start slowly. If you’re just starting to work out, use caution and don’t take on too much too soon. You can build up slowly to reach your fitness goals and avoid burnout and injury. Make sure you also listen to your body and take a day or two off if you need to.
- Consider your goals. Maybe you want to lose weight or perhaps it’s simply to remain active. Having clear goals in mind will help you create a plan that’s best for your lifestyle.
- Find the time. Be sure you have enough time to work out. This can be difficult, especially if you’re very busy. One thing that can help is to schedule your workouts, just like you would any other appointment. You can even multitask – catch up on your favorite shows while enjoying a walk on the treadmill!
- Try different activities. You may love one type of exercise and hate another. It’s good to try out different activities to find one that fits with your health level and is fun. The most popular physical activities for seniors are walking and gardening or yard work2!
- Break it up. If you need to, try breaking up your daily activities into chunks. Walking for an entire hour per day may seem like a lot of time, but if you split it into three 20-minute walks, it becomes much more manageable.
- Find fitness pals. If a friend or family member also has a fitness goal in mind, try doing activities together. Or you can join a group fitness class to meet other people and help keep you motivated!
- Check in. Revisit your fitness goals from time to time and track your progress. If you’re not reaching your fitness goals, you can adjust.
If you’re a Medicare Assured members, you are now eligible to enroll in SilverSneakers, a fitness membership for people aged 65+ that grants you access to over 13,000 locations, plus online resources and home exercise kits. Request your unique SilverSneakers member ID number at silversneakers.com or call SilverSneakers Customer Service at 1-888-423-4632 (TDD/TTY: 711) Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.