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How to Exercise for Healthy Aging

No matter what our backgrounds, hobbies, occupations, or habits, we all have one thing in common—each day, we get a little older. None of us is immune to the aging process. But those of us who exercise may have some advantages. After all, regular exercise is one of the most powerful things we can do at any age to promote healthy aging.

Unfortunately, many women fail to work out past a certain age. “Exercises for older people aren’t effective.” “Senior exercise programs are boring,” or “the gym and older adults don’t mix” are some of the excuses women give. However, these statements could not be farther from the truth. If you want to stay fit and healthy as you age, you must engage in some sort of a regular workout plan. Even if you’ve never exercised a day in your life, you can still benefit from adding exercise to your daily routine.  And now is a good time to start. Here are some tips on the best ways to exercise for aging healthily:

Recognize the benefits of exercising as you age.

The reasons exercise and aging should go hand in hand are plenty. In general, people who are physically active age more slowly than those who are sedentary. 1 Exercise for older people also helps prevent anxiety and depression, and it lowers risk for chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Not to mention the wonders exercise does for weight control. 2

Get a baseline checkup.

If you haven’t been active, see your health care provider for a physical before you engage in a new workout routine. In most cases, exercise for older women is a good idea, but there are some health conditions that may put parameters on your full body workout. Talk to your health care provider about the type of exercise you plan to start, and how often you want to engage in your workout plan. 3

Test your strength.

The best exercise includes strength training. As you age, you lose muscle. In fact, starting at age 30, you lose between 3 and 5 percent of your muscle mass in each decade that follows. The good news is, you can preserve some of it by keeping your muscles challenged and strong. 4 Regular strength training helps tone and strengthen your muscles, which keeps you more physically fit and independent. Maintaining muscle strength also improves balance and reduces the risk of falls—one of the leading causes of injuries for seniors. 5

Mix up your senior exercise routine.

The best exercise for women is a workout that targets muscle strength, cardiovascular health, balance, and flexibility. So, for the sake of aging healthily, try to engage in a mix of Curves circuit strength training combined with Curves classes—Body Basics, Boxing, Balance, and Cardio. To really keep your body challenged, try doing something slightly different with your exercise routine each day of the week. For example, the Curves circuit and then a little tennis one day, a MyCurves On Demand Cardio class and walking with a friend the next, a Curves Boxing class the day after. By varying your exercise, you’ll keep your body younger. 6

Keep it social.

One of the best ways to stay sharp, healthy, and engaged as you age is by nurturing your social network. In one study done by the American Psychological Association, researchers found older adults who had small, tightly knit face-to-face social networks had the greatest wellbeing. 7 And what’s more tightly knit than a workout crew at your women’s fitness club? To strengthen your social network and your muscles at the same time, choose an exercise for older women you can do alongside supportive ladies who know exactly what you are going through. Not only will your workout friends motivate you, they will keep you accountable for your workout routine.

Go for your goals.

Never let your age stop you from pursuing your dreams of a strong, healthy body. And remember, incorporating the right exercises for your fitness level is crucial in making the workout achievable and fun! Regular workouts make it easier to participate in activities you’ve always wanted to do. Want to run a 5K? Now is a perfect time to get your body prepared! Want to hike a steep mountain? Go for it! A key to healthy aging is to stay open minded and hungry for new challenges and experiences.

Lean on your coach.

If you choose Curves for your healthy aging workout, you’ll get one-on-one training and exercise advice to ensure you are using the proper form and engaging in a safe, effective, full body workout as you age. Your coach can help you target your moves to your individual needs and guide you through your routine, to help prevent burnout and injury. 8

There may not be a fountain of youth, but a key secret to aging healthily lies just on the other side of Curves’ front door. By engaging in a complete, social, full body workout that works your muscles and helps improve your cardiovascular health, you can live stronger and happier!

 

References:

  1. A lifetime of regular exercise slows down aging, study finds
  2. Benefits of Physical Activity
  3. Do you need to see a doctor before starting your exercise program?
  4. Preserve your muscle mass
  5. Falls are leading cause of injury and death in older Americans
  6. Curves Classes
  7. Older adults find greater well-being in smaller social networks, study finds
  8. 10 Ways a Curves Coach Helps you Achieve your Fitness Goals
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