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Why Exercise in Later Life? Part 2

Calendar Thu, 28 May 2015Share

Here is the link to the second part of our blog post on exercising in older life - written by Active+ physio Alastair Prentice

The first thing to know about exercise is that it is never too late to start – no matter how old or young you are you can always improve your physical fitness and muscular strength. Below are some key points and suggestions that are worth considering;

Have appropriate exercise expectations

I can imagine that if you are reading this blog you are no longer in your 20s ror 30s and unfortunately even though the mind is willing the body as we age may not be! You need to have a clear understanding and expectation that you can’t do what you once did when you were younger and that that is simply ok! Don’t beat yourself up if you can no longer run that super fast 10km or lift your own body weight above your head (who used to be able to do that anyway!). The point is that no matter what your age is exercise is good for you and you can significantly improve where you are at by doing it.

Exercise with a friend

This will really help you exercise on those days when you don’t feel like it! An exercise partner will help motivate you, encourage you and pull you along and you can do the same for them! It’s great to have someone you can share the experience with, have a laugh and a groan with and help support and be supported by too.

Schedule regular time to exercise

Schedule your exercise into regular time slots during the week. It’s so easy for time just to disappear on us in our busy lives and if exercise is not scheduled in regularly it is generally the first thing we leave out!

Make it fun and mix it up a bit

Find something you enjoy as exercise and try to incorporate a mixture aerobic and weight bearing activity. Do different things on different days so that you don’t get bored and so you don’t strain or over train your muscles.

Set good exercise goals

Wanting to lose weight or get fitter is not specific enough. Make a goal that is specific, achievable, and measurable and time specific. An example of this might be something like, I want to lose 5kg in weight in the next 3 months. It provides focus for your exercise and there is nothing quite as motivating as working towards and achieving a goal.

So what kind of exercise should you do? There are lots of ways you can exercise, consider some of the following; walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, going to the gym, community based group exercise classes (lots of fun and a good way to be social and make friends), dancing, playing tennis or badminton or golf. There’s lots of ways you can exercise and the list above is only a few of them.

Remember to schedule your exercise regularly, exercise with a friend or in a group and set an appropriate goal for your exercise and to do different things. Above all be kind to yourself when you exercise and most importantly have fun!