No matter what our age, it’s important that we stay active and healthy.
Not only does keeping fit provide a multitude of physical benefits, but it means we keep our brains functioning, too. However, keeping fit doesn’t have to be distressing. We’ve compiled 5 simple tips that can help you keep bright-eyed and bushy-tailed throughout your mature years and beyond.
The benefits of walking cannot be overstated.
Not only does it increase circulation, fitness and flexibility, but it cuts the risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and has been shown to have protective effects against dementia.
Increase your fitness goals by investing in a high-tech pedometer, such as a Fitbit. You can use these devices, which sit on your wrist like a watch, to compete with friends, set goals, or even just check up on how many steps you’ve taken that day.
When exercising, it’s important to make sure you are feeding your body the right fuel. Ensure that you are eating the right amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, accompanied by proteins, nuts, legumes and dairy. Another great supplement to take if you’re going to start exercising in your mature years is a natural calcium supplement. Calcium prevents against bone brittleness, which will in turn make your bones stronger in the face of exercise and exertion.
Not only is cycling a great, low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints, but it is a great way to get you around town. If commuting makes you nervous, start off by finding a local park route or by hopping on a stationary bike. Build up your confidence and endurance in these safe environments first, and then increase the difficulty by throwing in some intervals.
For example, cycle for a minute easy, then a minute hard, or incorporate some hills into your cycling route. This type of exercise is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and although it can seem arduous, it has been proven time and time again that it one of the most effective forms of training.
Commonly, people avoid taking up exercise because they will perceive it as being too stressful on their bodies. However, there are many types of low-volume aerobic exercise that can increase bone density and overall strength – no matter what age you take it up.
Moreover, strength training is extremely beneficial for maintaining bone density and muscle mass, which can diminish from middle age onwards. An ideal combination of exercise is a mixture of resistance exercise and cardio, so if you’re finding your current exercise regime a bit on the boring side, talk to a gym trainer about what you can do to mix it up.
You can’t expect to just pick up exercise and stay committed to it if you hate it.
Try and find a sport or an exercise that you truly love doing. Create mini goals, such as playing a team sport, or meeting a friend for a walk and a catch up, a few times a week. Try a wide range of activities and classes until one sticks – whether that be boxing, tennis, bowls, cycling, walking or swimming. As well as this, as aforementioned, a combination of exercise is ideal, so don’t be afraid to continue to try new things well into your exercise journey.
Keeping fit throughout your middle-aged years is a surefire way to encourage a healthy and happy retirement. Furthermore, the immediate benefits you’ll receive from maintaining an active lifestyle is well worth it. You’ll be more alert, productive, less prone to injuries; exercise will increase your endurance whilst also levelling your moods and emotions. What are you waiting for? Get out there and get sweaty!
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