The Importance of Staying Active as You Age
As we age, our bodies begin to go through physical changes. We lose flexibility and range of motion, or develop pain associated with certain chronic conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. In fact, by the time adults enter into their forties, they begin to losing around three-to-five percent of their muscle mass with each subsequent decade of life.
Although most aging adults are aware of the risks associated with living a sedentary lifestyle, many stray away from taking part in a routine fitness program out of fear they will not be able to safely complete the exercises. A recent study revealed that approximately 67 percent of people aged 65 or older are inactive for over eight hours each day. Staying active as you age is vital to physical health, but also is an important part of maintaining independence and social well-being.
Finding the Right Senior Exercise Program for You
Senior exercises don’t have to be high intensity or difficult. In fact, there are a variety of senior fitness programs designed with the aging adult in mind. A few tips to keep in mind when finding your way to a more active and independent lifestyle include:
- Find a program that interests you. Whether you seek the mobility and freedom of a walking club, the relaxation of tai chi, or the simplicity of chair yoga, there is sure to be a program that meets your needs. Finding the program has never been easier with AARP and the International Council on Active Aging teaming up to provide their Age-Friendly Facilities and Services locator. Select your state and city, then explore a list of gyms, fitness centers and programs designed specifically for seniors and aging adults.
- Consult your doctor. Before beginning any senior fitness program, it is important to consult your physician for a check-up. Tell the physician your plans to begin an exercise program and discuss any possible conditions that may affect your participation, such as heart or joint conditions or certain medications.
- Set your fitness goal. Once you have chosen an activity and consulted your physician, set a fitness goal to ensure you maintain your daily routine. Having a clearly defined senior fitness program can help keep you motivated and feel more accomplished. For example, don’t just say you want to lose weight. Instead, specify exactly how many pounds you’d like to lose, and reward yourself in a small way when you hit that goal.
- Take your time. You may get excited to start exercising and dive into a new program full force. Just remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Be sure to pace yourself and only do what your body is comfortable doing. Knowing your limits can prevent injury leading to further inactivity.
Stay Active with Western Home Communities
Enjoy active living at Western Home Communities, where we offer a variety of senior fitness programs to make sure you keep living independently for as long as possible. It is our mission to create fulfilling lifestyles every day. The Wellness and Community Center comes complete with a lap pool and all the essentials to help you create a senior exercise program that meets your unique needs. Contact us today for more information on our senior fitness programs, (319) 277-2141.