Regular exercise is a tried and tested remedy against chronic diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and frailty. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends that adults over 65 years old get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise to combat these conditions. If you’re able to do intense physical activities, you only need to exercise for at least 75 minutes!
Though these are expert recommendations, the numbers may seem like a lot especially if you’re already experiencing aches and pains. But you can meet the recommendations and even go beyond them by following these tips.
Get Professional Advice
Of course, you need to prioritize your safety since you can injure yourself during exercise. This is especially important for older adults since around a quarter of the population experienced a fall during the past year, according to a National Poll on Healthy Aging. The increased risk for falls and injuries is attributed to the decline of physical activity among the aging population.
So if you’re embarking on your fitness journey, it’s important to start off on the right foot. To reduce this risk, Michigan Health recommends that you seek out the help of health and fitness providers. These experts can guide you in increasing your safety while exercising.
You can even tap into your health insurance plan for any professional assistance when it comes to exercise. Case in point: Medicare Houston provides free access to local gyms. This allows you to get in touch with professional instructors who can design routines based on your specific needs. On top of that, you can use your health insurance to discuss your fitness program with a doctor, especially if you have heart disease, kidney disease, or diabetes. These measures are important so that you can meet your health and fitness goals safely.
Once you’ve got the green light, it’s time to start exercising! At this point, you may feel pressured to meet the weekly requirements from the WHO. However, it’s important to do short and simple exercise routines until you feel ready enough to level up.
For starters, you could simply do chair exercises. These easy workouts are great, especially if you have limited mobility or if you’re simply a beginner when it comes to exercise.
For instance, you can exercise your arms by doing shoulder presses using light dumbbells, water bottles, or even canned goods. Bend your elbows and hold the weights by the sides of your head. Then, extend your arms upward before carefully lowering them. On the other hand, you can improve your leg strength and balance by sitting and standing from your seat. Repeat these exercises until you feel comfortable taking it up a notch.
You can make your workouts more intense by trying other exercises. Tai chi, yoga, and brisk walking are gentle and moderate exercises that you can do at home. Our article on Strength Training points out that you can also opt to increase the frequency or intensity of your exercises. You can do this by using heavier weights or by doing more repetitions of each exercise. Just keep your fitness goals in mind before adding variation to your exercises.
Let Your Body Recover
It may seem counterintuitive, but rest is an important part of your fitness journey. Dr. Elizabeth Gardner states that exercise is only one part of the battle. The orthopedic surgeon emphasizes that you also have to take care of your body before and after the exercise so that you can prevent any injuries.
So before each workout, make it a point to warm up. You can roll your shoulders forward about twenty times before doing the same in the opposite direction. You can also grab onto a railing or armchair as you swing your legs forward and backward. Additionally, you can carefully twist your torso to loosen your hips.
Also, remember to drink water and do a gentle stretch after your workout. You can even use a foam roller or a massager to ease the knots in your muscles. It’ll feel like a reward for your hard work!
It’s never too late to work out! If you want more workout tips, WorkoutCave has a wide range of resources on health and exercise. The guides on fitness equipment, running, and nutrition can help you become healthier and stronger.