Friends, I’ve got a special treat for you … a guest blog from Jennifer McGregor. Jennifer has dedicated herself to helping people be, or become, healthy and well. I think her latest offering is great, and hope you do too! (Note, top photo by Pixels)
It’s common for seniors to believe that if they weren’t fit in their youth, it’s too late to be fit now. But, in reality, fitness is fluid and there’s never a cutoff. Not sure where to start your senior fitness journey? Here are some ideas you can try today — maybe even right now — to boost your health, and even reduce your risk of senior isolation.
Exercise helps prevent senior isolation
Do you know what often ranks as the leading cause of high mortality in seniors? You may think cancer, heart disease or slips and falls, but those actually aren’t the biggest threat to senior health and safety. In actuality, the answer is senior isolation.
For many seniors, those golden years shimmer and fade rather quickly, especially when they find themselves alone. Joining a gym or taking a yoga class with Lang can help you meet fitness goals and get social. Call up a friend to join you, or meet someone new in the class. While most people are silent during yoga, casual conversation before and after is often appreciated and encouraged.
Yoga helps manage stress
Get some fresh air in your lungs and you’ll find both your body and mind rejuvenated. Join a fitness class at the gym or, better yet, join a group that works out in a local park. Many public parks offer free yoga classes on the weekends; your city’s website or a simple Google search can tell you when and where. Practicing is great for healthy minds and bodies. Studies show the breathing exercises you learn in yoga can help manage stress, while the stretching and flowing movements can help with joint and muscle pain and relieve tension and stress. If you’re not able to practice yoga outdoors, you can still practice at home by using a YouTube video or fitness app. You can even invest in a pair of wireless earbuds with noise-cancelling technology so you can listen to instruction or music without being disturbed.
Exercise helps with pain management
One of the most common — and most damaging — ways to deal with pain is to limit your daily movement. Exercise is an effective way to manage pain in the muscles, joints, bones and even the mind. Not only does exercise dull pain, but it helps us put it into perspective, which means we can withstand it more and in more diverse situations.
Bootcamp classes combine strength and cardio
You can also look into really giving your health a boost by committing to a bootcamp-type program. This is a great way to meet people of all ages and fitness levels who are looking to build healthier lifestyle habits. More importantly, however, these kinds of classes can help seniors reduce their susceptibility to chronic illness, while boosting mobility and balance.
Working out inspires you to eat healthier foods
You don’t want to undo all that hard fitness work by forgetting other components of wellness — like eating healthier foods. Do you know someone whose doctor is requiring they eat healthier to lower blood sugar or cholesterol? Try teaming up and inviting them to sign up for a cooking class with you. You can learn ways to cook healthier meals and socialize at the same time.
Achieving physical fitness goals boosts mental health
Working toward a goal is one of the most effective ways to achieve a health milestone. Think about what you want to accomplish and create a routine to stick to it. For example, you can pick a 5k race to walk or run and begin training with a local running group. You may think that only people in their youth can run races or take bootcamp classes, but we encourage you to think again! In the last few years, more and more men and women aged 75 and up have completed marathons.
Senior health is a mind-body concern, which is why it takes a whole-body approach to manage. That’s why getting outside and getting active — from walking once a week with a friend to trying new fitness classes— is such an effective approach, not to mention the benefits of staying socially engaged. It won’t take long for you to notice major changes in your outlook on life, attitude toward yourself and physical strength. All you have to do is try.
Thank you, Jennifer! Great stuff!
Hugs & Love,
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