Along with remaining socially active, it is critical that we remain physically active as we age in order to offer ourselves the best chance of avoiding both physical and mental diseases. Furthermore, staying active will allow us to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

This blog post will look at six strategies to stay fit and active to live a long and healthy life.

Strength training should be prioritised.

We all lose muscle mass and strength as we age, regardless of who we are, where we live, or what we consume. This is known as sarcopenia. We understand how unfair it is. The problem with muscle loss is that it makes us more prone to falls and injury. That is why it is critical to maintain muscle mass and strength as we age in order to avoid avoidable injuries. If we do get hurt, being strong will help us heal faster. Strength training is how we gain strength. Moving against resistance is what strength training is all about. Our own body weight, a weight machine, free weights like dumbbells, or a resistance band could all be used as resistance.

To reap the full benefits of strength training, it’s critical to keep making improvements. This entails either utilising bigger weights or regularly raising the intensity of your workout. This will allow your body and muscles to expand and maintain their strength.

Participate in physical activities with your friends

The British Heart Foundation recommends that you engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. When strolling or mowing the lawn, moderate exertion is when you feel warm and comfortably breathless. Intense activity is breathing quickly and deeply, such as running, swimming, or cycling.

What one person considers mild may be considered intense by another. That’s why doing the ‘talk test’ while exercising can help you determine your optimum level. The talk test: 

  • you’re moving at the correct rate if you can easily chat while being active,
  • you’re warm and breathing a little more heavily than usual.

Whether you’re walking or lifting weights, it’s critical to start slowly and to ‘listen’ to your body. A session could last only five or ten minutes. Even minor modifications can have a significant impact.
It is important to spread your activity equally throughout the week, using some rest days to allow your body to recover. Recovery might be equally as important as exercise in terms of boosting your fitness. Being active is about living a healthier life and should be incorporated into your daily routine.

A simple strategy to ensure we get our daily cardio is to plan regular get-togethers with friends that revolve around being active.

Many Spice Social members find that being active with friends is significantly more pleasurable than exercising alone. It also gives them an excuse to socialise with friends while keeping them accountable on their fitness path!

Photo: Spice Social members enjoying a walking holiday in Andorra

While enjoyable with companions, cardio is also extremely helpful to our health. It circulates blood throughout the body, aiding in the elimination of waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid, as well as the generation of endorphins, which make us feel naturally calmer and happier.

In addition, it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, regulates blood sugar levels, and improves sleep, to mention a few health benefits.

So plan that cardio session with a friend as soon as possible and join one of our more active events, such as walking or cycling.

Experiment with low-impact exercises

While yoga, pilates, and walking are all considered low-impact movement exercises, they do not produce low-impact consequences.

You may notice that your joints are not as dynamic and fluid as they were in your 30s. Yoga, in particular, can aid in lubricating joints and preventing conditions such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Photo by Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash

Slow and measured yoga movements help develop muscles and improve balance, which helps prevent falls and injuries.

You can attend a local yoga or pilates class or do these exercises at home by watching YouTube videos.

Socialize in a unique way

Meeting for coffee or food is a common social activity among friends and family. While socialising is important for our mental health, it does not always have to focus on eating.

Try introducing a movement component into your next gathering the next time you plan one. Instead of meeting for coffee at a cafe, grab a take-away coffee and walk along the river, park, or ride your bike. Alternatively, if you’re meeting for lunch, go for a walk afterwards!

Photo: Spice Social members cycling together

Also, consider planning or participating in activities that allow you to move. Spice Social arranges activities such as ceroc dancing lessons, golf, music concerts, and walks on a monthly basis, which are great ways to meet new people while staying active

  • Recalibrate your fitness mindset

Many of us have the misconception that exercise is a hassle. It even becomes an unpleasant chore that we go to great efforts to avoid. However, changing our thinking and relationship with exercise can be beneficial.

The first thing we can do is emphasize’movement’ rather than ‘exercise’. When you ask yourself, “What gets me moving?” you’ll discover that options will come to you. What will bring you there if your goal is to be more active? To begin, perhaps walk the dog or play music at home and dance in your living room.

The second component is to “consider movement as an opportunity, not as an annoyance”. It’s a chance to get more active, feel better and happier, or catch up with friends. Create your own ‘opportunity’ to keep you in this attitude.

Additional tips

  • Avoid using lifts and elevators.
  • Take the stairs instead of driving
  • Walk or cycle to your destination if possible
  • If taking public transportation, disembark a few stops (or blocks) further from where you need to give yourself more time to walk to your destination
  • Chase your grandchildren in the park or backygarden
  • Take a leisurely stroll through all the shops in a shopping centre
  • Do jumping jacks every time a TV commercial appears
  • Walk your dog
  • Wash your car
  • Mow your lawn

What have you tried thus far? The above list of suggestions is by no means exhaustive of ways we may care for our physical health, but it is a terrific place to start.

If you are interested in being more active but don’t want to do it alone, check out some of the Spice Social activities in your area….or if you want more information, contact us or even join this great organisation.

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