Maintaining a regular exercise routine is important for healthy ageing. Just 150 minutes per week devoted to exercise will help keep everything from your muscles and joints to your heart in good condition. However, staying physically active can prove challenging at times, especially if you aren't used to exercising regularly. Use these tips to motivate yourself and make working out easier.
1. Set achievable goals
If you haven't been exercising on a regular basis, trying to walk 6 kilometres will burn you out and may leave a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to exercising again. This is why it's important to start in a small way. Although it may be tempting to jump right into it and challenge yourself - after all, you want to get in shape and start seeing results - it's essential to slowly work up to your goals. The British Heart Foundation suggests breaking down your workouts into 10-minute segments if you're just getting started. In fact, it even offers a 10-minute living room workout, which could come in handy in the winter when cold temperatures make it less than desirable to exercise outdoors.
2. Make healthy changes to your daily routine
Being active doesn't necessarily mean participating in an exercise class or setting time aside for a walk. While these are healthy options, a good way to make the transition to an active lifestyle is simply to make a few changes to your daily routine. For example, Diabetes UK recommends walking instead of driving to nearby locations. Even getting off the bus a stop or two before your destination will help you to become more active. Hobbies, such as gardening or doing household chores, such as vacuuming, will play a role in getting your body healthy as well.
3. Involve others for company
If you haven't had much success at maintaining an active lifestyle or breaking unhealthy habits, talk to friends or family for support. Ask your neighbours if they want to go for a walk with you every other day. Once you've recruited friends or relatives, it will be easier to find the motivation you may need. Having someone to talk to during walks may also make your sessions more enjoyable.
"Exercise outdoors some days and indoors others."
4. Vary your activities
Try to vary your physical activity every once in a while to make getting fit more interesting. Exercise outdoors on some days and indoors on others. For example, you may want to try gardening on Mondays, a gentle workout on Wednesdays and a brisk walk the rest of the week. This will help to prevent you from becoming bored by your routine and reduce the chances that you stray from your schedule.
5. Keep a note of your progress
Nothing is more motivating than seeing your progress as you make the effort to become more active. There are plenty of gadgets and phone apps available that record the number of steps you take and how many calories you burn. At the end of one of your activities, see how many calories you've used to motivate yourself to burn a few more when you feel you're ready. This is also a great way to see how even the smallest tasks, such as doing chores around the house, can have an impact on your health. However, simply recording your progress on paper or somewhere you can see it every day is also effective.
At Gracewell care homes, we plan everything from community outings to activity programmes to help residents who want to stay active in order to maintain or improve their health. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.