How To Stay Fit As You Age
One thing we know for sure is that nobody is getting any younger! As we age, it’s important to keep several things in mind including keeping a balanced diet and hitting your vitamin and mineral targets each day.
But something that’s almost equally important as we age is getting enough exercise. Exercising regularly can be one of the most important things you do for your long-term health. It helps prevent chronic disease, balance-related accidents, and allows you to keep a certain level of independence.
Recommended Levels Of Exercise
Once adults hit the age of 65, it’s recommended that they get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. That would be a 30 minute brisk walk, 5 days per week. or a 40 minute hike, jog or run 2 days per week.
In order to maintain and strengthen muscle, resistance training is recommended at least 2 days per week. Some sort of balance training, such as standing on one foot, is recommended 3 days per week. Yoga is a great activity which incorporates both balance and muscle strengthening.
But it’s important to remember that even a little bit of activity is better than none! It’s never too late to start exercising or get back into activities you used to do. If you’re thinking about starting a new workout routine, your first step should be to talk to your doctor. They will be able to check up on your heart and overall health and determine if you need to make any adjustments in your activity to make it safer for you.
Considerations For Fitness As You Age
Once you get the go-ahead from your healthcare professional, here are some things to consider:
Track Your Progress
You can log a variety of exercises right in Cronometer! We have a large database to choose from – simply select the exercise you did, choose the intensity, and type in how long your workout was. Cronometer will calculate how many calories you burned – no need to guess on your own.
You can also add a note to your Cronometer diary to keep track of how you felt, your pulse, thoughts for next time, etc.
Exercise Doesn't Look The Same For Everyone
Some great cardio activities include swimming, walking, jogging, or cycling. Resistance training could be callisthenics, weight lifting, yoga, pilates, or even some types of yard work! Balance exercises can happen throughout the day. Try walking backwards for a short distance on your next walk or standing on one foot at the kitchen counter while you’re waiting for the coffee to be ready.
It’s important to choose activities that you enjoy doing, otherwise you’re more likely to abandon ship. While you’re at it – try not to compare yourself to other people. Hiking or mountain biking may not fit within your fitness level right now, and that’s okay!
Get Friends Involved
Starting a walking group in your neighbourhood or joining a group fitness class can multiply the benefits of exercise – strengthening your body but also your community and social bonds.
Exercise is crucial to your physical health, but so is eating a balanced diet and hydrating properly. Focus on whole foods first (i.e. limit processed foods) and drink water throughout the day. If you’re not already, you can make sure you’re meeting all of your protein, carb, fat, vitamin and mineral needs by tracking your diet in Cronometer.
If you’re concerned about your diet or hydration, it may be time to meet with a qualified health professional like your doctor or a Registered Dietitian.
To learn more about exercise for older adults, click here.