January – the perfect time to re-evaluate and prioritize goals, figure out what didn’t work in the past and make New Year’s resolutions. If you are an older adult looking to live a healthier lifestyle in 2019, we’ve put together five fitness tips to help you establish realistic and attainable goals for the new year.
- Know your health numbers – Before starting any fitness regimen, it’s important to know your health numbers. Blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and body mass index (BMI) all matter. Knowing what the recommended ranges are for each will help you determine your overall health level as well as develop a fitness plan that will work best for you.
- Make an appointment – Working with a health care provider is the best way to keep your health numbers at target levels. Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician and start your year off right. Most people have no way of knowing when they have high cholesterol or blood pressure without being tested. They can help create a workout plan that is catered to your specific needs and goals.
- Do what works best for you – The best thing about exercise is there are endless options and you can choose the form that works best for your body. Walking, swimming, dancing, biking or yoga – whatever it may be, it will keep you fit and help you maintain your independence as you age.
- Incorporating simple changes –Try to incorporate small changes into your daily routine, even if it’s just going for a walk. Be sure to start slow, especially if you haven’t been physically active for a while. Don’t worry, you will gradually build your endurance, strength and balance
- Flexibility, strength and aerobic. The best exercises for senior health focuses on these three types of exercises. Flexibility exercises focus on stretching and flexing and are helpful for seniors who have range of motion problems in their joints. Strength exercises are important to daily living. Strength training fights the loss of muscle mass and strength. It can also reduce the rate at which your bones become weaker. Aerobic exercises get your heart rate up while strengthening your heart, helping lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and reducing the risk of diabetes.
Find the fun in staying fit; don’t pay too much attention to the weight loss and body appearance aspect of exercise. Physical wellness includes maintaining a healthy diet, sleeping well and remaining active. Find the joy in your boost of energy and the progress of your body getting stronger and healthier. Congratulations on making yourself a priority this new year.