Health +Fitness Tips in Honor of National Senior Health & Fitness Day
Submitted by ACE American Council on Exercise –
Today, we celebrate the 22nd annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day, the nation’s largest annual health promotion for senior adults. In honor of this celebration, we worked with ACE’s Senior Consultant and ACE Certified Personal Trainer, and book author of Going the Distance, Cris Dobrosielski, to compile a few tips to help senior adults stay healthy and active longer. Feel free to use these tips for any articles you might be working on!
- Do what you love, love what you do—Now you’re the boss! You get to pick how you spend your time and which activities you’ll do. Whether it’s hiking, gardening, golfing, water aerobics, ceramics or ballroom dance, spending your time doing things that stoke your spirit, is a recipe for increased energy, vitality and happiness.
- Schedule fitness and movement activities into your day and stick to the plan—One challenge that many seniors are faced with is that they have a tremendous amount of free time. As energy wanes throughout the day, so does the likelihood of getting around to doing something healthy. Try exercising early in the day to avoid missing a workout all together.
- Be of service—Find organizations or groups in your community that you value and share some of your time with them regularly.
- Don’t do it alone—One of the dangers many seniors face is the tendency to isolate. Joining a local gym, like a YMCA, where you can connect with peers while getting exercise has the benefit of making the workout fun, adds accountability and a very positive social component.
- Pump it up—Resistance training has multiple benefits for people of all ages. Burning calories, strengthening muscles, fortifying connective tissue and increasing bone density are just a few of the biggies. This is an area where it would be well worth seeking out an ACE-certified personal trainer or coach to build a routine that works for your body, with your goals in mind.
- Eat better, not perfectly—Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed! That said attentiveness to making even small improvements in nutritional choices can lead to improved energy levels, increased comfort during exercise and social activities and a potential reduction in the use of prescription medications, which often have negative side effects. Lowering intake of sugar, saturated fat and sodium just to name just a few, can really improve one’s health and disposition.
- Move it or lose it—Include some sort of mobility activity in your day. This can be a dedicated “Healthy Back” class, Yoga, Pilates or a short flexibility routine done regularly at the house each day. It’s also important to include some gentle static stretching and some light dynamic stretching to help limber up your body and allow you the freedom of movement for all of life’s adventures that you like to embrace.
To learn more about ACE’s efforts to support senior health, and the non-profit’s recent partnership with Senior Services’ EnhanceFitness check out the ACE website.