You probably don’t need reminding that regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Staying active as we age, even if it’s just a few minutes every day, can work wonders for our bodies and our mental health.
Remember: some movement is better than no movement.
So, you haven’t exercised in a while? Or, maybe you’ve never really exercised before now? The good news is that the body benefits quickly – and it’s never too late to get started.
Begin with something you can incorporate into your regular day that requires zero planning.
Ten ways to jump-start your movement
- Step outside. Don’t think about it. Just step out your front door and take a walk around the block. Don’t forget your shoes 😊 and if you live in a colder part of the country, pick a sunnier day and bundle up.
- Park in the farthest spot in the parking lot, and walk. Do this for every errand you do this week.
- Turn on some upbeat music, stand up, and dance for a few minutes. And, if you’re shy, close the bedroom door!
- Make your own weights from household items like bottles of water or canned beans. Lift while you’re dancing.
- Rake leaves or prune a shrub in the yard.
- Leave a pair of comfortable shoes in the car. Stop at a park on the way home and take a 10-minute walk.
- Find a calming, restorative yoga session on YouTube. Some are as short as 15-minutes.
- Did I say clean the house?
- Use those water bottle weights and add in a few jumping jacks or sit ups while bingeing your favorite tv show.
- How many of us wait for the elevator when the stairs are right there? Take the stairs!
This Harvard Health article lists 20+ more suggestions for becoming a little more physically active.
No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.
Eventually, when you’re ready, add a more formal exercise routine that’ll help you work up to the fitness level your body needs. We’ll talk about that in a future post including guidelines for exercise and the four types of exercise experts recommend for older adults.
As with any change in lifestyle, take it slow and please discuss with your doctor first if you’re concerned.