9 Tips To Keeping Fit As You Age
When I was younger, exercise was something I just did without thinking. At that age, you’re more concerned with keeping in shape, keeping your weight down, and having fun. So you don’t tend to think about the health and psychological benefits of it all.
As you get older, you become more aware of the health benefits that staying fit can bring. But all the additional responsibilities you have make it difficult to motivate yourself to keep fit, so you have to make some extra effort. Here’s 9 useful tips for aging in a healthy way.
1. Remind Yourself of the Benefits of Staying Fit
Physical Health: As you age, health problems become more of a concern. Staying fit will help prevent many health problems including osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
Psychological Benefits: Achieving your fitness goals increases your confidence, and helps raise your self esteem.
Staying In Good Shape: It’s easy to believe that the middle-aged spread is just a consequence of getting old. But there is no reason why you should weigh more at 60 than you did at twenty. There are many people who even manage to stick to quite intense workouts like the P90X, even in their later years. Staying in shape and keeping your weight down will make you look good and feel good about yourself.
2. Choose the Right Fitness Program for You -You’ve Got To Enjoy It
There is no point choosing a fitness program you don’t even enjoy. You have a far greater chance of succeeding in your quest to stay fit if you like the exercise you do.
If you exercise in the gym, try spending ten minutes on three different cardio-vascular machines, and 30 minutes doing weights, as opposed to spending an hour on the treadmill.
And if you exercise at home, consider combining exercise like walking, yoga and a weights workout with a set of dumbbells.
3. Include Plenty of Variety
A fitness routine which incorporates various different types of exercise stops you from getting bored. Also, you will be exercising your whole body, so you will see faster results and that will motivate you to keep going.
4. Adapt to the Weather
The weather can have a major impact on your workout routine and your motivation. You may enjoy a nice leisurely jog in the summer but the idea of doing it in the winter sounds like torture.
Prepare yourself in advance for the changing seasons, and plan to replace your seasonal exercise program for a different one. That way, you won’t give up when the weather makes your usual routine less than enjoyable.
5. Keep Track of Your Progress
When you don’t feel like working out, reminding yourself of what you’ve already achieved is a great motivator.
Take Pictures: Keeping a weekly record of pictures that shows your changing physique is a great way to motivate yourself to keep going.
Keep a Weight Chart: If you weigh yourself, chart your progress on a weekly basis.
Set & Record Goals: Set yourself regular fitness goals and record any improvements. The sense of achievement you feel when you look back at your improved performance is a great motivator.
6. Reward Yourself
Set yourself mini-goals and reward yourself when you achieve them. Choose rewards that genuinely appeal to you, so that you are more motivated to work towards them.
7. Work Out With a Friend
Working out with a friend can be fun, plus you can both motivate each other to keep going when the going gets tough. Do pick a friend who is as keen as you are to keep fit though. A friend who isn’t serious about sticking to their regime could do you more harm than good.
8. Invest in a Personal Trainer
If you’ve tried everything and you just can’t get yourself motivated, why not invest in a personal trainer? A skilled personal trainer will increase your motivation in no time at all.
9. Avoid Injuring Yourself
An injury is one of the biggest de-motivators you can experience during your fitness regime. If an injury prevents you from carrying on your fitness regime for several weeks, it can be difficult to get started again. Your fitness levels will have gone down, and you will be out of shape. It can feel like starting over again from scratch.
There are steps you can take to avoid injury during your workout:
- Always warm up and cool down.
- Stretch after you have warmed up and at the end of your workout.
- Wear the appropriate clothing.
- Don’t eat a large meal less than two hours before you work out.
- Take the time to learn to use techniques and equipment properly.
- Use a heart rate monitor to make sure you don’t push yourself too far.
- Vary your routine to make sure you’re not over-exercising a particular muscle group.
- Give your body a rest at least once a week.
- Consult your doctor before you begin a new fitness regime.
- Choose a gym with a qualified instructor who shows you how to use the equipment.
Remember, you are never too old to begin a fitness regime, and regular exercise will have a positive impact on your health. So don’t use age as an excuse not to keep going, or worst still, to stop you from getting started.