With the cold weather retreating and some lifting of COVID restrictions across the nation, more seniors are feeling hopeful about getting back to their normal routines of life, including exercise. If you’re one of those individuals wanting to get on the fast track to peak fitness, here are five ways to charge up your fitness routine now.
1. Set your fitness goals. Do you want to lose weight, increase your muscle mass, or improve your flexibility or balance? Write down one or two key goals so that you know where to focus your time and energy to achieve the results that are most important to you.
2. Establish a weekly routine. Explore information about which exercises will best help you achieve your fitness goals, then set a weekly routine that incorporates them into your workouts. If your fitness goal, for example, is to gain strength, there are many instructional videos that will show you step-by-step how to do various exercises to improve lower body, upper body, and core strength. For instance, check out this short instructional video from the Silver&Fit® Healthy Aging and Exercise Program that shares tips on strengthening the lower body: http://bit.ly/SFstrengthspring. Other videos can help you improve balance, flexibility, cardio health, and more.
3. Start small to work up to national guidelines of 150 minutes per week of exercise. If you’re just starting a new exercise routine, start with 10 minutes three times a day and progress from there. For best results, mix things up. Incorporate cardio exercises like walking, biking, or dance, along with strength training exercises, such as wall, countertop, or floor pushups, chair squats, and supported lunges. For a more advanced workout, add resistance bands or light weights to your routine.You can find a wide range of 30-minute classes to get you started at: www.youtube.com/SilverandFit.
4. Find a routine that motivates you to stick with it. Data shows that a high number of people who start an exercise program drop out pretty quickly. Here are some keys to success. 1). Do exercises that you truly enjoy. Whether it’s a daily bike ride, a walk in the park, or an exercise class, do what you love. 2). Enlist an accountability partner to help you stay on track. Walk with a friend. Use a fitness device that tracks your activity. Or sign up for a gym class or online class with an instructor who inspires and motivates you. Many gyms across the country are now open and have COVID-safe workout options in place and live instructors who can help you stay accountable. If you opt for an online workout class, comment each time you tune in to show the group that you’re there. Your online comments can start conversations with others who attend, so you can develop virtual accountability partnerships with those attendees. Explore class options like those offered through the Silver&Fit® program, which premieres daily public Facebook Live and YouTube exercise classes catered to senior fitness. These half-hour classes include cardio, strength/bodyweight, yoga, dance, tai chi, mixed formats, and flexibility and balance, all available at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Classes premiere Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT but you can view exercise videos any time.
5. Don’t delay. Take the first step to peak fitness today. Even if you’re not ready to take the big plunge to a 30-minute or longer class today, just get going. Try 10 minutes of exercise and work up to your goals. Just getting started will give you a big sense of accomplishment, and can eventually result in real health improvements. As always, before you start any new exercise routine, talk to your doctor to discuss your goals and what types of exercise might be safest for you.
Spring is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to begin working on your peak fitness goals.