Regular physical activity is a vital part of every person’s routine, especially if you are already in your golden years. It allows older adults to significantly improve their physique and achieve their desired weight goal.
Moreover, it plays a huge role in ensuring life longevity by strengthening the heart and maximizing lung capacity. However, its benefits do not stop at the physical level.
Health experts showed the positive effects of exercise on the mental and emotional health of seniors. This includes the following:
- Regular exercise helps manage stress and prevent chronic stress from developing.
- It improves memory, attention, and other cognitive functions.
- It boosts mood by releasing your happy hormones.
- It enhances sleep quality.
- It helps manage and prevent depression, anxiety disorder, ADHD, and other mental health illnesses.
- It improves social life.
- It promotes a quality life and adds years to your lifespan.
Becoming physically active can be hard work, but you can achieve it while residing in the best senior living in Rancho Mirage. Now, the real problem starts after the initial “high,” of exercising fades away.
Here’s what you can do to stay motivated to exercise consistently for the rest of your senior life.
1. Start Small
Seniors who are just starting to engage in exercise should take it easy and begin with simple routines. Consider your fitness level and health condition before going on a full workout mode.
Starting small will make your goal much more achievable. Moreover, you won’t crash and burn at the end due to overexertion and boredom. For example, you can try working out for 20 to 30 minutes at least twice a week. Stick with low-impact to mild exercises during the first few weeks. Then, gradually amp up your routines by adding extra minutes or making your workout days three times a week.
2. Make Exercise a Fun Activity
Seeing exercise as a requirement rather than an enjoyable activity will make it challenging for you to continue doing it in the long run.
To avoid this line of thinking, make sure to engage in fun and exciting physical activities. Be creative and make every workout day interesting by doing some of these tips:
- Engage in exercises that you find interesting. For example, many people find that walking in the park makes them more motivated than using the treadmill.
- Make sure to change your workout routines every now and then. You can find unique senior-friendly exercises online or sign up for fitness classes.
- Join exercise classes, such as Zumba, dancing, yoga, and swimming.
- Try sports activities, like volleyball, badminton, and tennis.
- Walking and playing with your dog or grandchildren.
- Pursuing your hobbies that let you get up and moving, like gardening, biking, and hiking.
Exercise does not need to be boring and uneventful. You can spice up your fitness life by discovering new ways to work out.
Furthermore, you are more likely to continue exercising if you like what you are doing. Over time, you will find yourself looking forward to your workout days!
3. Make It a Part of Your Routine
Many elderlies inside the best senior living in Rancho Mirage prioritize their health by never missing an opportunity to exercise. They can easily do it because senior communities usually have a scheduled set of time just for physical activities.
Scheduling your workout session, like an important meeting, will make you more likely to stick with it and eventually make it a part of your routine.
If you have a tight schedule, try slipping in some simple and everyday exercises into your daily activities like:
- Doing your own housekeeping (e.g., vacuuming, sweeping) or lawn maintenance instead of employing a helper.
- Using the stairs instead of the elevator in your senior home.
- Run your errand by walking or using a bicycle.
4. Invite Friends and Loved Ones
There’s nothing more fun than sweating it out in your Zumba classes with your senior BFF, right? Or enjoying a healthy lunch after your morning jogging ritual with a loved one.
Exercising is meant to be a wholesome activity where you get healthy while enjoying what you are doing. So, why not make it a social affair so you can love every minute of it?
Invite a friend, family member, or fellow resident to work out with you every morning. Moreover, you can join a group fitness class to have an “exercise buddy” every session. You can also opt to join a team sport or sign up for your town’s outdoor activities to meet other like-minded seniors.
Also, you will be more likely to wake up early in the morning for your morning jog if you know that someone’s waiting for you. So, invite your loved ones and bond over this healthy habit.
5. Set Personal Rewards
Enduring the sweats and muscle aches that come with exercising will eventually result in fruition during the later stages of your seniorhood. One of its major benefits is getting to enjoy a longer, happier, and healthier life.
Besides this long-term reward, you should also set short-term prizes for yourself to be more motivated to continue forming this healthy habit. Some examples include:
- Treating yourself to your favorite comfort food after finishing today’s routine.
- Allowing yourself to buy a new pair of running shoes after consistently working out three times a week.
- Having a “me time” after a week of regularly exercising. You can treat yourself to the on-site spa or salon in your senior living in Rancho Mirage.
- Extra screen time for finishing your routine.
6. Track Your Progress
Lastly, you should put your goals on paper so you can track your progress. You can check on the days in the calendar where you were able to do physical activity. Also, you can take a picture or note the positive changes you see in yourself weekly.
Tracking your progress and seeing it come to fruition each week will boost your motivation to continue exercising. Eventually, you won’t need a tracker anymore because you will get used to this healthy routine like a reflex action.