Keeping Active Later in Life

Being active is the best way to boost your chances of living longer and feeling great while you’re at it. Regular exercise assists in keeping your mind sharp and body healthy by reducing the risk of disease and disability, even if you start late in life.

Don’t know where to begin? Take a look at our handy tips to keep active!

Start by walking

If you have not been exercising regularly, the key is to start slow to reduce the risk of injury. A great way to get active is by walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week. It doesn’t have to be in one block of 30 minutes, you can break it down to three intervals of 10 minutes, for example. Aim to increase your pace slowly week-by-week. Eventually, you’ll want to walk at a pace brisk enough that you can just hold a conversation without becoming too puffed out.

If you are unsure of what exercise is suitable for you, consult your health care professional.

Walking may not be enough

You may be missing out on some important health benefits by focusing solely on aerobic activity. While walking can help to improve your cardiovascular health, it is also important to protect yourself against age-related health conditions. By combining exercises that focus on strength, balance, flexibility and aerobics, you can reduce your chance of falls and other injuries. It’ll also make chasing after the grandkids a lot easier!

Some activities that you can try include:

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Tennis
  • Dancing
  • Tai Chi
  • Golf
  • Lawn bowls
  • Yoga

If you choose a sport or activity that involves being outdoors, don’t forget about sun safety to protect against sunburn and skin cancer!

Tips for keeping active

You don’t always have to go out of your way to be active. Some of the best exercise is incidental and just so happens to be great fun. By choosing something you enjoy to do, you are more likely to do it more often.

Chasing after the grandkids

If you’ve ever tried playing with the grandkids, you know that they have plenty of energy to spare. Chasing after them, or even jogging and picking up a ball or frisbee, can be a great way to get some exercise while having quality time with the family. Dogs are also great cheerleaders. If you don’t have one, someone you know might appreciate a puppy-walker while they’re at work. Doesn’t hurt to ask!

Add a Friend

Find someone who is full of energy, fun and who you look forward to spending time with as your exercise buddy. That way, you’ll want to exercise just to be with your friend. You’re both bound to have those days when you’d rather stay in on the couch, so take turns being the booster.

Group Fitness

Having a companion or two when you exercise can make it much more enjoyable. Group classes are a great way to meet new people, have an instructor to help you with your form and keep you motivated. Seek out clubs that hold classes or activities for your age group and interests.

Play Something

Playing sports are fun. Whether you like to get competitive, or you just enjoy the social aspects of team sports, they are a great way to meet new people, improve hand-eye coordination, and keep active.

And remember, the key to keeping active later in life is to choose a variety of activities that you enjoy, and combines aerobics, strength, flexibility and balance.