Longevity and Staying Fit Over 60
August 21st of each year marks Senior Citizens’ Day. This day is to celebrate all the seniors in our lives. We often hear stories about elderly people who feel lonely or isolated so we should use this day as a reminder to keep in touch with older friends and family all year round. Seniors have most of the same needs and requirements as younger generations. However, staying fit over 60 is one of the things seniors do a little differently to younger people. For some people, exercising and staying active as they get older may seem like an almost impossible task but there are things people can do so they don’t have to abandon their fitness regimen.
The Importance of Keeping Fit as You Age
Staying fit and healthy is as important as ever as you get older. Leading an active lifestyle comes with many physical and mental benefits which can help the aging process. Regular exercise can ease the pain caused by injuries or illness and provide an energy boost. Exercising as you age is also crucial for protecting your mind and memory and for maintaining a good mood. A good diet is also essential to keeping fit as you age. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, lean meat and fish can help ward off many of the complications associated with aging including heart disease, cancer, memory loss and bone and joint disorders.
How to Stay Fit Over 60
As we mentioned, staying fit over 60 may require some variations to the fitness plan a person followed in their younger days. The fitness plan for a person who was very active before 60 will likely also be different to that of an exercise novice. As we often say, there is no one-size-fits-all plan when it comes to health and fitness.
- Beginners: If you are new to the world of fitness or if many years have gone by since you broke a sweat, you may want to start off with a senior fitness level assessment. You can administer this assessment yourself or, if you have concerns about your health, consult with your doctor. These tests will determine what your strength, flexibility and stamina levels are. These will help when deciding on what exercise or combination of exercises to add to your fitness plan. It’s important not to over exert yourself and attempt exercises beyond your fitness level as this will put you at risk for injury and illness or worse.
- Experienced: If you have exercised regularly throughout your life, staying fit over 60 may be slightly easier for you. One of the most important things for you to do is listen to your body. You may find that you don’t have the same energy or stamina levels that you had five or ten years ago. Don’t push yourself to keep up with your former levels. Over time you will need to decrease the amount of time you spend exercising. You also need to be conscious of your bones and joints and consider lower impact exercises.
Steps to Longevity
Here are five steps to staying fit over 60:
- As you get older, your appetite may decrease. However, a healthy and balanced diet is vital if you want to stay fit and energetic. You may want to try eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than three big set meals. Make sure to eat plenty of greens and drink plenty of water. If you think you are missing out on some nutrients, introduce supplements to your diet.
- Try social exercising. Many older people cite loneliness as their biggest problem. Joining an exercise group will keep you fit and combat any feelings of isolation or separation. A group setting will also offer the support you need to keep going and meet any goals you set yourself.
- Make sure to visit your doctor regularly. It’s important to keep an eye on your blood pressure, thyroid, heart and bones as you age, especially if there’s a family history of illness. Prevention is better than a cure but catching an illness early means that you should recover quickly.
- Do some sort of exercise daily. A quick walk around the block or some light housework will keep your bones and joints flexible. It will also reduce your chance of serious injury on days when you are exercising more strenuously.
- Stay as stress-free as you can. Stress is a major cause of heart attacks and other illnesses. Yoga, meditation and massages can keep stress at bay leaving you with more time to stay fit and enjoy life!
Feeling better about your health or fitness shouldn’t be a chore. If you ever need some extra support, come by BEFIT to speak with one of our trainers or simply fill out a Free Consultation Request by clicking the link and a fitness professional will reach out to you within 24 hours.