Exercising is an important activity at all stages of life, but as people grow older, they tend to find less and less time for self-maintenance and staying active. Many older people who were active in their early 20’s and 30’s claim they can no longer workout as hard or as often now that they’re 10, 20, 30 years older.
And that’s ok.
Aging is a natural, unavoidable journey. It has an effect on every aspect of both your physical and mental health – change is inevitable. As we grow older every year, the connective tissues (cartilage, tendons, ligaments, etc) in our bodies become less elastic. This causes us to be more prone to injury and joint pain, which is why, despite being a running enthusiast in your younger years, you have to resort to walking now simply because it’s less painful.
So what can we do to slow down or work around the aging process in a way that still allows us to stay physically fit, but embraces the fact that we’re getting older? We asked ourselves that same question here at Dr. Willard’s – here’s a list of 5 helpful tips we came up with:
- Stretching is an important pre & post exercise activity, especially as you age.
The goal of stretching is to warm up your body for the movements you’re about to perform while working out. It’s meant to increase mobility, reduce joint stiffness, and reduce the risk of injury during exercise. Your goal should be a full range of motion, stretching out the muscles in your body preparing them for movement.
- Find low-impact activities to lessen the burden on your body.
Want to run but can’t because it hurts your knees? Walk a longer distance instead. Like to dance but can’t because your joints are under too much pressure? Sign up for a yoga class. While high-impact exercises are more efficient at burning calories, they take a much greater toll on the body. “A 150-pound person who runs will land on one foot with about 300 foot pounds of pressure on the ankle, knee and hip joints.” High-impact actions are simply not suitable for people who suffer from joint problems.
- While cardiovascular-focused exercising is important, don’t ignore strength training.
Both men and women, particularly men, experience increased risks of heart-related problems as they age, and this is especially true after the age of 55. While it would make sense to focus on cardio with this knowledge in mind, strength training is just as significant. Hitting the gym doesn’t mean the same thing to you now vs. what it meant when you were in your 20’s, but maintaining muscle mass, combined with resistance training, is vital to improving joint elasticity, flexibility, and bone density.
- If working out isn’t your cup of tea, seek other activities that you find enjoyable.
You don’t have to be running on a treadmill to validate your preferred method of staying in shape. Hobbies like hiking, gardening, and hunting are all great ways to keep yourself active while also having fun. Even simple tasks like doing the daily chores or walking the dog are enough to maintain a healthy level of activity, and you’ll feel good about doing it too. One of the benefits that often goes unnoticed is the strengthening of your own mental fortitude. Physical activity promotes mental well-being, and staying sharp as you age is an investment that will benefit you later on in life.
- Stay on top of vitamin and mineral intake.
Receiving vital nutrients is just as important now as it was when you were a child. Kids have it easy with vitamins, with access to all sorts of different flavors and shapes. Adults, on the other hand, grow tired and annoyed with the chore of swallowing an unnecessary amount of pills that seems to increase as we age, every single day. However, there is a workaround. Dr. Willard’s Water® exists specifically for this purpose. Instead of bombarding your body with pill after pill, Willard Water® greatly improves nutrient assimilation, helping you digest vitamins and minerals you get from regular food more efficiently. It can help supplement your daily routine, making sure your body maintains its health by removing toxins, buffing your ability to break down crude proteins, and accelerating carbohydrate and fat digestion.
Coming to terms with the effects aging has had on your body doesn’t have to be a somber experience. Plenty of opportunities are available to maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle, and despite the occasional sore knee or wrist, we can continue to enjoy life just as we did in our younger years without skipping a beat. Don’t let your age define you, and take control of your own well-being.