As we get older, our muscles tend to deteriorate and we begin to lose strength and flexibility. This can lead to general everyday tasks becoming more and more difficult and we can become less able-bodied as time wears on.
Because of this, it is important that we stay active once we are in our 60s. Keeping our muscles working keeps them strong and it keeps our hearts healthy. This doesn’t mean you should go down the gym and be pumping some serious iron every day but a few light weights and some gentle exercising will go a long way towards keeping you active and helping you enjoy a long retirement.
Physical Health Benefits
There are countless benefits to staying active once you are over 60. The idea that it is too late to start exercising is a myth. Being active and having a healthy routine will improve your strength, balance, mobility, and flexibility and will help you continue to defy the years once you get past 60.
Mental Health Benefits
While the physical benefits of keeping active are pretty apparent, there is also plenty of positive benefits exercise can have on your mental state.
Keeping active and healthy will improve your sleep and provide you with a better sense of routine.
Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy. This can also help reduce stress, anxiety and other feelings of depression. This can be especially good if you are ever feeling lonely.
Exercise can have a hugely positive impact on the brain. While puzzles will keep your brain sharp, exercise can help brain functions and can help prevent memory loss and combat illnesses like dementia.
As we get older our bodies tend to lose mass and a lot of people tend to become a little bit lazier with what they eat. Maintaining a well-balanced diet and making sure you are getting all of your vital vitamins is essential if you want to stay healthy in your autumn years.
This can also be a really fun way to spend time with your friends and family as you can plan and prepare healthy meals together and even host meals for them as well.
Low-Impact Exercise Options
Exercise doesn’t always have to be strenuous. As you get older, you don’t want to be putting so much pressure and stress on your joints, so performing low impact exercises can be hugely beneficial.
The following are all great examples of low impact exercises that you can do in your 60s:
- Walking: Walking is perhaps the most underrated form of exercise. Taking a gentle 30-minute stroll every day can have huge benefits for your heart. It can also be a great way of socializing and getting yourself out and about in nature.
- Pilates and Yoga: Pilates and yoga are both excellent ways of helping seniors increase their functional fitness. Doing gentle routines for both of them will make day to day tasks such as carrying the groceries or putting things on a shelf much easier. They also help to increase balance and strengthen the core.
- Swimming: Swimming is one of the best activities that anybody can do. Swimming exercises every muscle in your body and it is a great way to get your heart pumping. It can also be incredibly relaxing and if you want to take a more gentle swim with a friend, it can also be a great opportunity to do some socializing.
Establishing a routine
Once you retire, it is easy to let all sense of routine slip. For the first time in a very long time, you are to wake up when you want, watch as much TV as you want and do as a little as you want.
This can be counter-productive though and a lack of a routine can be hugely damaging. Setting an alarm on a suitable phone for seniors and getting yourself out of bed in the morning can be one of the smartest choices you will make. Making sure that you build a routine that keeps you active and healthy will be beneficial for you in the long run and it will also stop life from becoming repetitive.
Listen to your body
When you are younger, your pain threshold tends to be a lot higher and you can just keep working out if you feel a slight twinge in a part of your body. Once you are over 60, it is important to listen to your body a lot more.
If one of your joints feel stiff or you start to experience cramps or pains when doing a certain type of exercise, then stop doing it. There is no need to be pushing yourself in your older years and exercise should simply be about keeping your heart healthy and staying active, not constantly trying to better your personal bests.
Staying active at home
Going to a gym or getting out about in nature isn’t for everybody but there are still plenty of things you can do to keep active at home.
Getting out and about in the garden, doing chores around the house, walking the dog or even just walking to visit a friend are all simple ways to get your blood pumping and to keep your heart healthy. Sitting around at home doing nothing is the worst thing you can do to your heart and body as you get older, but making these simple changes can really have a positive impact on your life.
Speak to a doctor
Before you begin any sort of new exercise regime, it is important that you consult a doctor about what you are planning. It is not advisable to just begin an intense work-out routine or throw yourself headfirst into a new activity or hobby with no professional help. Your doctor will be able to advise you on what you should and shouldn’t be doing and may also be able to provide you with some useful nutrition and lifestyle tips to get you started.