Staying Active Improves Health
As you age, you may be tempted to temper your exercise habits due to fear of injury or diminished energy levels. However, research has shown that staying active throughout your life can actually help to prevent strokes, improve life expectancy, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, and may even alter DNA to ensure that the body is performing optimally.
Stay Active With These Tips
In order to lead a long, healthy life, incorporate exercise and a healthy diet into your daily routine. The following tips will help you stay healthy and active for life!
- Don’t Overdo It – Take your time as you build up the amount of exercise that you do every week. Make sure to listen to your body so that you can warm up without overdoing it. If you ease yourself into exercising, then you can prevent injury and avoid overexertion.
- Maintain Your Balance with the Flamingo – As you age, your equilibrium will decline, and you may find it more difficult to balance. To perform the “Flamingo,” stand on one leg for 20 seconds at a time, several times a day. Make sure to perform the exercise on both legs. Once you’ve mastered that, challenge yourself by closing your eyes or standing on a towel or rug so that the surface is more uneven.
- Perform Squats to Prevent Injury – Squats can help prevent strain and injury as well as improve your back and leg strength. To do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and bend your knees until your legs are almost parallel to the ground. Gently raise your body back up, and keep your back straight. Repeat for 10-20 repetitions.
- Protect Your Achilles – Older runners are much more likely to experience Achilles injuries, so make sure to stretch appropriately by leaning against a wall with one leg extended behind you. Keep your heel on the ground, and hold the position for 30 seconds. Slightly bend your knee and hold for another 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
- Embrace Your Core – Since your core is the center of your body, strengthening and protecting it is essential to preventing injury and staying fit. One great exercise to build strength in your abdomen is the plank. Get into the pushup position and place your forearms on the floor. Hold that position for 30 seconds, rest, and then repeat as many times as you can.
- Stop When You Feel Discomfort – It is important when exercising to listen to your body and to take any cues that you notice seriously. If you experience pain or a feeling of discomfort, stop the exercise so that your body can heal and repair.
- Incorporate Strength Training – Strength training is not only good for building muscle; it’s also a great way to improve your overall fitness level and strength. You don’t have to hit the gym to incorporate strength training into your routine. You can do something as simple as lifting the laundry basket!
- Loosen Your Arches with Golf Balls – Sore arches are a common complaint, and a great way to resolve this issue is to grab a few golf balls. Run the golf ball along the arch of your foot to loosen the arch and the tissues. You can also place a golf ball under your foot on the floor and roll your foot slowly and gently over it.
- Take a Break When You Need it – Take a few days off as you need them. You can take a day off every week to rest and relax, or you can take a slow, peaceful walk that day instead if you would still prefer to incorporate activity into your day.