Activity and Aging
As we age, our bodies change. Our energy levels are not what they used to be. We’re busy and when we come home from work, we are just worn out. These are just some of the obstacles that we face when it comes to living healthily. How are we expected to think about health and fitness on top of everything else that is going on? In this blog, we are going to go over why staying active as you age is so important and how you can use time management to fit exercise in your schedule.
Why It’s Important to Exercise
Everyone ages and there is nothing we can do about it. This is a universal fact of life. While there is nothing we can do about getting older, exercise and physical activity can slow down some of the physiological and cognitive consequences of aging, while helping us maintain independence for as long as possible. Physical activity and exercise is good for our bones, mental health, physical strength, and can even help us sleep better at night.
A HealthyAging blog made a useful distinction between “exercise” and “physical activity.” The distinction is important and can help you make sense of what routines you might want to consider. “Physical activity” is any activity that involves moving your body, like walking, cleaning, or doing yardwork. “Exercise” is physical activity, but it is planned and aimed at achieving physical fitness, like jogging, weightlifting, or swimming. Either kinds of activity can be good for you and it ultimately depends on what interests and motivates you to start moving more.
How You Can Schedule Physical Activity
(1) The first step is to make a plan: Don’t underestimate the power of setting goals and making a schedule. Writing things down or inputting them in your online calendar can help you visualize your goals and keep you on track.
(2) Categorize your to-do list: You do not need to accomplish everything in one day. It is okay to leave some tasks unfinished for a day. Instead, focus on your priorities. According Experience Life, dividing your to-do list into three different categories, like work, family, and self-care, and then listing three of the most important things under those categories can be a good way to prioritize. This method lets you focus on the most important stuff first and helps you achieve your goals because you will not be overwhelmed with everything that may be on your mind. Under self-care, put down physical activity or exercise and see if this helps you.
(3) Don’t set impossible goals: Part of the reason some people do not exercise or end up falling off the wagon is because they set impossible goals. This means they are too ambitious and get discouraged when they realize results do not happen as fast they thought they would. Don’t be unrealistic. If you only have 10-20 minutes to go for a walk, then schedule that in. Don’t do more than is physically or logistically possible.
(4) Keep workout clothes with you or workout at home: Time is limited. Coming home from a busy day of work, getting ready for the gym, and driving back out can be an added stress. To avoid spending more time than necessary, bring your gym bag with you so you can drive straight to the gym. Or, find your favorite online workout videos. In today’s world of vast resources online, there is no excuse!
(5) Multi-task: See if there are ways you can turn your errands into times to walk or jog. If you have a favorite TV show or podcast, try working out while watching it. Be creative and find ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily life.
Before starting any routine, consult your physician. If you have any question, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.