It’s never too late to start exercising or to try a new exercise routine. Staying active will keep your heart healthy and your muscles limber, lengthened, and strong so that the way you feel as you age will be much improved. It can be difficult to do, though, because of busy lifestyles and general wear on the body as we age. Check out these tips for staying active and limber well into old age, increasing your healthspan, or the quality of your years.
Incorporate strength training into your routine
Strength training helps maintain and increase your muscle mass and bone mass, which tend to diminish as we age. Weight-bearing exercises maintain bone density, preventing brittle bones and osteoporosis. Don’t lift more than you can! You can actually do exercises like bicep curls, planks and push-ups with just your body weight.
Focus on low-impact cardio
In addition to light strength training to keep your muscles engaged and your bones healthy, cardio-respiratory exercises can be incorporated into your daily routine. When your cardiovascular health is poor, it’s difficult to be active without getting out of breath, making activities like climbing stairs and walking difficult. Try low impact, aerobic activities like swimming, walking and indoor cycling to reduce pressure on your joints. Pick an activity that you enjoy so that you can stay active for years.
Stretch it out
Stretching is extremely important for preventing injury and keeping your muscles flexible and agile. Even a few minutes a day will make a difference in improved flexibility. Yoga is an excellent way to incorporate stretching into your routine. In addition to lengthening and strengthening muscles, yoga teaches breathing techniques and meditation, which are both stress reducing. With your stronger and more limber muscles, staying active becomes much easier.
The way you feel as you age will be much improved by maintaining a healthy activity level. Be sure to have a consistent workout routine and keep yourself accountable for a more active lifestyle, but most importantly, have fun with it!