Aging Well: How to Stay Fit at 55+
Looking forward to retirement and plenty of time to relax may sound like heaven but aging well has a few requirements. First is staying fit — physically and mentally — so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor, do the things you want to do, and live a long and fulfilling life. While everyone is different, here are some fundamental guidelines for getting and staying fit!
Yes, after age 50 the body does start to change and often these changes are frustrating. Determining what areas need the most work is essential. Common challenges are waists, abdomens, upper arms, thighs, and for some, overall weight. There are exercises that target specific areas of the body. Zeroing in the areas to work on first (just look on YouTube!) to get the results you want.
Another way to assess needs is by asking yourself what abilities you want to improve. For example, more stamina and endurance, better flexibility, and improved balance are all worthy goals that also have exercises associated with them.
For most people, exercise is a key part of staying fit. This becomes easier when exercise is part of the daily routine. Whether it’s a morning routine at home with a video, a regular yoga class, or a workout at the gym with a trainer, the key is to incorporate it into your weekly schedule so you don’t forget and will begin to see results sooner than later.
It helps to exercise with another person or a group with shared fitness goals for support and encouragement, and it’s harder to skip because of the added accountability. Among the many group fitness options are water aerobics; sports like tennis, handball, or volleyball; Pilates and yoga; cycling; and running. Once exercise becomes part of your routine, it’s easier to stay on track and reach your fitness goals.
Staying fit requires energy, so ramping up daily nutrition will pay off with dividends. Keep in mind that the more active you are, the more nutrition you need to sustain that lifestyle. Choosing the right foods will not only keep you going, but allow you to avoid unhealthy snacking. Great super foods for people 55+ include whole grains, fish, dark leafy vegetables, fruits, and yes, even carbohydrates like pasta and rice in moderation. Although a little meat is fine, the less consumed the better to avoid unhealthy fats.
In addition, don’t forget the importance of drinking water. As we age, we feel less thirsty, and as a result may fail to drink enough water. Since we are about 75% water, dehydration can cause a number of symptoms including fatigue, confusion, constipation, headaches, poor concentration, bad breath, muscle cramps, a rapid heart rate, and in severe cases, even seizures and death. In general, adults should drink about 15.5 cups of fluids a day for men or 11.5 cups of fluids a day for women, but that amount may vary with weight, as people who weigh more require more water to stay well hydrated.
It may not seem like having a solid social circle is a part of staying fit but spending time with friends and family can actually help improve mental health, which is also a big part of the fitness equation. Friendships and other close relationships offer many benefits that include a sense of belonging, reduced stress, help coping with problems, and improved self-worth.
Research also shows that socialization has very clear connections to good physical health including lowering risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart attack, depression and anxiety, and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Keep in mind that the best friends to have are people who have positive, upbeat attitudes, share your interests and goals, and give as much as they take. Stay clear of people who would rather complain than seek a solution, who want you to share bad habits, or only want to be with you when they need something.
Want to stay fit and enjoy a fun, carefree senior lifestyle? Sonrisa Seinor Living in Roseville, California is a luxury senior living community that offers residents diverse ways to stay active and healthy, nutritious chef-prepared meals, beautiful apartments, and amenities that rival the best resorts. Give us a call to find out more at 279-972-9884.