How’s your clean slate going? The New Year has only just begun, which means you have plenty of time to incorporate good habits into your lifestyle. Staying active is one routine you should definitely consider.
Even if physical activity isn’t on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, it should be on your mind. Benefits of exercise are abundant—you probably know them by heart. But you don’t have to do something major like join an aerobics class or run 5 miles every day to be a healthy, active senior. For example, simply walking for 30 minutes per day is a great foundation. And in the Flathead Valley we have the mountains and plenty of outdoor walking tours to support your active lifestyle.
Make Staying Active a Part of Your Lifestyle
If you consider the below advice for staying active, you may find that physical activity is a natural part of your life and doesn’t take much extra effort.
Start with one small change.
Quick wins push you towards something attainable. They make you feel proud and accomplished. Start small by making one healthy lifestyle change related to physical activity. Maybe it’s taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Or parking farther from the entrance to the grocery store so you get more steps in. Or taking the dog for a 30-minute walk instead of a 15-minute walk.
Whatever you decide, start with one attainable change. This lowers the likelihood you’ll get overwhelmed from the shock of drastic lifestyle changes.
Remember why you need to stay active.
When the urge to sit on the couch and watch a movie instead of going for a walk creeps in, resist. Think about the reasons you need to stay active. You’ll feel better—physically, mentally and emotionally—after you exercise. If you need a little motivation to work out, try developing better nutrition habits to increase your energy and keep you active. If it helps, jot down a short list of reasons you need to stay active and keep it nearby. Refer to it when temptation sneaks in.
Try something new with a friend.
No matter your age, sometimes new things are more intimidating when you’re alone. Grab a friend or two and scope out a fitness class nearby. Consider beginner level yoga classes, which are perfect for improving flexibility and stretching. Another fun option is Tai Chi classes, which are lively and upbeat – you may not even realize you’re working out!
Ask your loved ones to help keep you on track.
Having a cheerleader in your corner can do wonders for your motivation. Sometimes we all need a little encouragement to keep going. Ask your spouse, close family member, or friends to check on your exercise habits every so often. Tell them how important it is for you to stay active this year, and your reasons for doing so. If you ever fall off-track, you’ll have someone there pulling you back into the race.
Don’t let the weather get you down.
One of the hardest parts about staying active in the New Year is: it’s the middle of winter. Frigid temperatures and snow storms really limit your options for exercise. Don’t use that as an excuse. Be tenacious with your desire to stay active—even if it means pacing the living room while watching your favorite TV show. Or you could consider joining a senior fitness program. Do what you have to do to give your body the physical activity it needs.
Staying active impacts your health in multiple ways. If you want to improve your life, take a look at your physical activity and strive to make positive changes there, first. It doesn’t take much to see a difference in the way you look and feel. You can do this.
Immanuel Lutheran Communities offers a variety of health services when and where our residents need them, including assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and memory care. No matter where you are in life, we’ll be here with professionalism and kindness when you need us. Learn more about the senior living lifestyle at Immanuel Lutheran Communities today.