All around us we see gyms popping up and personal trainers advertising. The push to keep fit and active has never been more in our faces.
A part of healthy ageing is remaining as active as you physically are able. It’s never too late to change bad habits into healthy ones. Before making any significant lifestyle changes concerning exercise and diet, it’s always best to visit your General Practitioner to ensure you have no underlying medical conditions that may impede your choice of exercise. Going from no exercise to a half marathon is just not realistic!
Take a proactive approach to your health and fitness levels. Ask questions and do your research. Be honest with yourself and determine whether the focus is to fit into size 10 clothes, or taking preventive measures to avoid developing heart disease or diabetes, or to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol. Once you’ve set some goals and priorities and have realistic expectations, it’s time to get moving.
Dr Helene Greenglass says, “The truth is that the greatest decrease in heart disease occurs for those who just take themselves out of the sedentary lifestyle with simple movement. In fact, just going from sedentary to moderately active gives you the greatest reduction in your risks”.
Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. You don’t have to join fancy gyms or purchase equipment like treadmills or bikes. Incorporating exercise into your regular daily routine can be as simple as doing a 30-minute walk either alone, with a friend or with your dog, and if you don’t have a canine companion, adopt one! People with pets are healthier overall both physically and emotionally.
The great outdoors offers a wide variety of exercise options. Walking and heart groups are run regularly and have nurses onsite to assist if required. Park Runs are also popping up everywhere and are a great way to keep track of your progress.
Other heart-pumping outside activities include gardening, going for a bike ride or even climbing steps. Park the car at the shopping centre further away than normal and make this your exercise, and choose to walk up a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator.
If the weather isn’t cooperating and you need motivation to work out, there are a wide selection of exercise videos on YouTube that you can download and do indoors. Whatever your exercise of choice, like the Commando Steve says, “No excuses, just do it!”
The Moreton Bay Regional Council offers a range of activities to engage seniors in healthy lifestyles and stay connected, visit their website, ‘Older and Bolder’ at www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/olderbolder or call 3283 4066 for more information.