Five top tips on keeping fit for the over 50s
As experts in caring for the elderly and vulnerable, Bluebird Care can be relied upon to offer the best practical advice during the current Covid-19 virus when it comes to how you can help support your loved ones.
Whether you’re five, fifteen or over 50 we all know it’s important to keep fit and healthy. During this period of uncertainty, you might be wary of venturing outside too much or, if you’re classed as vulnerable, you may be self-isolating.
If you’re feeling physically well and are able to, finding ways to exercise at home will not only help pass the time and give you something positive to focus on, it will help you to feel fitter and stronger both physically and mentally.
1. Decide to start
If keeping fit and exercising doesn’t come naturally to you, getting started can sometimes be the biggest hurdle to overcome. The fact that you’re reading these top tips is certainly a step in the right direction. Even seasoned keep fit fanatics have days where they can’t seem to face pulling on their trainers and workout clothes.
So, what can you do to kick start your activity when you don’t really feel like it?
Find yourself an exercise friend. Talk to someone who you know will encourage you and tell them about your plans. Tell them when you are planning to do your exercises/workout, to help make yourself accountable to your desire to keep fit. If it’s a family member and they live with you, they might even be happy to join in.
2. Find something that you will enjoy
It is so much easier to exercise and keep fit if you enjoy it. If you are able to leave the house, you might simply start off by walking in your favourite local park or garden. Or, if music helps to get you moving and you need to stay at home, play your favourite tunes and dance like no one is watching! Anything that helps to raise your heart rate and means you’re also moving, stretching and possibly lifting.
3. Look online
There are now thousands of guides and videos online that you can search through to get some fitness inspiration. You can choose from simple workouts to do from your living room to Yoga and Pilates and, if you’re feeling really energetic, full on High Intensity Interval Training sessions known as HIIT.
Here is a selection of videos you can search out to give you some inspiration and ideas to follow:
- Exercise at home for the over 50s by www.generationgames.org.uk
- The Body Coach’s Selection of Videos ‘Home Workouts for Seniors’
- The Body Coach’s Selection of Videos ‘Beginner Workouts’
- British Heart Foundation – 10-minute living room workout
- A selection of videos by SilverSneakers designed for adults 65+
- Yoga For Seniors with Adriene
- The NHS Fitness Studio
4. Mix it up and exercise regularly
To help you stick with your new exercise plan, it’s important that you look at ways to mix it up, so you don’t get bored. By varying your activities, you can also look at ways to incorporate the three key areas to focus on, aerobic exercise, strength training and stretching.
The NHS website recommends that you “do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week,” and suggests you “reduce time spent sitting lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.”
Once you are able to exercise on a regular basis and your chosen workouts start to become easy you should look at ways to make it more challenging. That might be by:
- increasing your exercise time
- lifting heavier weights
- adding some form of resistance
- working out a bit faster
- increasing the number of repetitions
5. Rest and self-care
Don’t forget to listen to your body. Whilst you might want to try everything at once, you need to look at resting from intense or vigorous exercise at least twice a week. If something is painful or feels too hard, look at ways to either adapt it or try something else. By carrying out exercises incorrectly you risk injuring yourself. If you are not sure, always seek professional help when you can.
Be kind to yourself, and by keeping fit you should benefit from:
- Improved sleep
- Better mobility
- A happier mind
- Better overall health
Good luck and most importantly, enjoy it!
These top tips on keeping fit for the over 50’s are only a guide, and should not be taken as professional medical or health advice. If you’re unsure about embarking on any kind of exercise programme, please consult your doctor or local health professional.
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