Exercising after 50, especially when motivation is low, can be challenging. Trust me, we know here at Alphemita!! Here are 7 helpful hints to stay active when your "give a damn" might be a bit busted:
1. Prioritize Consistency Over Intensity: Instead of aiming for intense workouts, focus on consistency. Make a commitment to move your body regularly, even if it's just for a short time. Consistent, moderate exercise can still yield significant health benefits.
2. Set a Realistic Routine: Create a workout schedule that fits your current lifestyle and energy levels. Start with a manageable number of days per week and gradually increase it as you build confidence and motivation.
3. Break It Up: You don't need to do long, continuous workouts. Break your exercise into shorter, more manageable sessions throughout the day. Ten minutes of activity here and there can add up to significant benefits.
4. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels. If you're tired or sore, it's okay to take a day off or engage in lighter activities like gentle stretching or yoga. Overdoing it can lead to burnout or injuries.
5. Incorporate Strength Training: As you age, maintaining muscle mass is crucial. (Think about trying to catch yourself if you fall.) Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to improve muscle tone, bone density, and metabolism. Start with light weights or resistance bands and gradually increase as you become more comfortable.
6. Find an Accountability Partner: Partnering with a friend or family member can provide the motivation and accountability you need. You can exercise together or simply check in with each other's progress regularly. For us this is a MUST!
7. Reward Yourself: Give yourself rewards for meeting your exercise goals. This could be something as simple as a relaxing bath, a favorite treat, or watching a movie you enjoy. Positive reinforcement can help you stay on track. Try to stay away from food for celebration, though.
There are tons of free online resources offering workouts specifically designed for seniors (I just threw up in my mouth a little typing “seniors”, but that’s how to find the ones that aren’t for 20 somethings!) . Here are some websites and platforms where you can find a variety of more ‘gentle on the bones’ exercise routines:
👟Go4Life (National Institute on Aging):** This website provides free exercise videos, workout plans, and tips tailored to older adults. They cover a range of activities including strength training, balance exercises, and cardiovascular workouts. Website: [Go4Life](https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/)
👟HASfit for Seniors:** HASfit offers a series of free workout videos designed specifically for seniors. These include chair workouts, low-impact exercises, and routines targeting various muscle groups. Website: [HASfit for Seniors](https://hasfit.com/workouts/home/senior/)
👟SilverSneakers:** While SilverSneakers is primarily a fitness program offered through many Medicare plans, they also provide free online workout videos for seniors. You can find videos that focus on strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. Website: [SilverSneakers On-Demand](https://www.silversneakers.com/learn/on-demand/)
👟Eldergym:** Eldergym offers a variety of free exercise routines and videos for older adults. The workouts cover topics such as balance, flexibility, strength, and coordination. Website: [Eldergym](https://eldergym.com/)
👟YouTube:** YouTube is a treasure trove of free workout videos for seniors. Some popular channels that offer senior-focused workouts include:
- [Fitness Blender](https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender)
- [Body Project](https://www.youtube.com/user/BodyProjectFitness)
- [Sit and Be Fit](https://www.youtube.com/user/SitandBeFit)
👟YMCA 360:** The YMCA offers a collection of free exercise videos through their YMCA 360 platform. While not exclusively for seniors, you can find a variety of workouts suitable for different fitness levels. Website: [YMCA 360](https://ymca360.org/)
👟Walk at Home by Leslie Sansone:** Leslie Sansone's "Walk at Home" program includes walking-based workouts that are easy on the joints and suitable for seniors. While some content is paid, there are also free videos available on YouTube.
When using online resources, it's important to choose workouts that match your fitness level and any specific health considerations you might have. If you have underlying health conditions or concerns, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine.
Remember, the key is to find activities you enjoy and can sustain over the long term. It's never too late to start or restart an exercise routine, and the benefits for your physical and mental health are worth the effort.
It’s never too late to get healthier!
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