Imagine waking up one morning and feeling like your body isn't what it used to be. You cannot get out of your bed without a minimum of 3 to 4 popping, crackling, or clicking sounds from those parts of your body you didn’t know even existed.
You are afraid of climbing stairs, and carrying groceries becomes a daunting task for you!
It is scary!
But this is how reality works for some of us as we age.
However, you do not need to stress out.
Get up and grab the feeling of independence; let it not slip away from your hands like the grains of sand.
Aging is not dreary; it is our lifestyle that makes it dreadful.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Staying physically active and independent can shake off your scary thoughts and maintain your agility, strength, and overall health.
I will share doable lifestyle patterns that may help you stay physically active and maintain your strength.
It will need dedication and persistent will to lead an active and independent life in the years to come. Get along with me if you are ready to get on the bandwagon of strength and agility, leading to a happy and stress-free life.
I will share four authentic, scientifically proven ways to stay active and maintain your independence.
Let’s dive in and discover.
But before you kick in!
Talk to your health practitioner about chronic illnesses like heart disease or diabetes. Seek your doctor’s advice prior to changing your physical activities.
1. Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Daily Routine
It becomes challenging to maintain our physical health with each passing year.
Yet we can achieve that physical independence as we continually seek for by following simply simple but effective ways to make physical activity part of our routine.
Ditch Those Elevators
If you want to take care of your health, switching to small changes can get more significant impacts.
Use stairs instead of elevators.
Returning to your apartment on foot from the ground floor will help you add physical activity to your routine.
At first, it will seem a bit uneasy; your heart and feet both wish to rush straight to the elevators.
Let your mind intervene right at that time, and ditch those elevators, for the sake of your health.
Climbing stairs improves your balance and coordination and helps the heart pump out more blood, even to far-off-reach areas of your body.
Just imagine you are giving your body the gift of its lifetime by merely ditching those fast-paced elevators.
Keep moving, buddy.
Let Your Car Take a Rest While You Take Care Of Yourself
How about going to the nearby grocery to get your supplies on foot?
By walking, you incorporate low-impact exercise to improve your cardiovascular health. Your muscles gain that strength to improve mind and body coordination.
Harvard University conducted a study on 22 random controlled trials.
It showed that
“Engaging in brisk walk for around 3 hours a week lead to substantial reduction in body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and fat mass in both men and women.”
Your body will thank you big time for merely making a simple change. You may get some fresh, clean air and enjoy the outdoors for your mental health.
Stretch Your Limbs While You Watch TV
After a long day, you can help your muscles get relaxed by stretching them out. Try to stretch one or two groups of muscles just for 2 to 3 minutes while watching TV.
Stretching improves flexibility and reduces muscle tension to prevent injury.
Find An Activity That You Enjoy
How about turning to something you enjoy the most?
You can start gardening if you love nature.
Or you can start swimming to strengthen your whole body muscles.
If you do not like both of the above options, how about dancing?
Dancing is fun, and you will get to move your body to make your body stay physically active and independent as you age.
Incorporating these simple steps into your daily routine takes work. You will have to face many aches and mental meltdowns,
It is worth it in the long run. You can become independent and slip off well into your golden years by taking baby steps.
2. Get Along With Low-Impact Exercises
Now that you have made simple habits to take mini steps to change your routine, it is best to add some form of exercise to get those muscles moving.
So, are you ready to boost your health and improve your overall physical function?
Now is the time to add some cardiovascular exercises.
Don’t be alarmed!
You are not going to be a marathon runner!
You get plenty of low-impact exercise options to get your heart pumping and your body moving.
Running or high-intensity exercise may not be everyone’s cup of tea. To increase endurance, you can add low-impact options to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.
Research suggests that
“Older adults who are engaged in moderate-intensity aerobic exercises like walking or cycling improve physical functions and improves quality of life. The participants completing the six-month tailored moderate intensity plan showed significant health improvements and the ability to get their routine tasks done.”
So, what are you waiting for?
Lace up your walk shoes, or maybe you can grab your bike or hit the pool to start your low-impact exercise routine,
Don’t make excuses; if the weather is not right outside, invest in a stationary bike at home to ensure cycling at home.
If you are low on motivation, you can always get a personal trainer’s assistance to set up a customized cardio routine.
Exercises do not need to be intimidating or overwhelming.
Start small and pace up your intensity.
Your heart, mind, and body will thank you later!
3. Don't Let Falls Hold You Back - Incorporate Balance and Flexibility Exercises into Your Routine
Did you know that sudden falls can be a severe danger to adults?
You know we tend to lose flexibility and bone mass as we age.
Fall is the most common reason for multiple fractures, head injuries, and several other complications.
You don’t need to worry,
There’s good news!
If you participate in balance and flexibility exercises, your body can significantly reduce the risk of falls. Your overall mobility is improved.
Sudden falls often result in fractures, head injuries, and other complications.
But don't worry; there's good news - practicing balance and flexibility exercises can significantly reduce your risk of falls and improve your overall mobility.
Research published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity states that
“balance and physical training programs can greatly impact reducing the risks of falls in elderly.”
To get those benefits later as you age, why not add a bunch of flexibility and balance exercises into your routine?
Be a Yoga Freak
Yoga is one of the best exercises to increase your balance and flexibility. Start with doing 5 to 10 minutes of yoga each day.
You will also get some mental relief by doing some regular yoga moves.
Standing on one leg can benefit you, or you can try heel-to-toe walking to increase your balance.
Start small and make a big difference.
But the key is to find something you genuinely love and can stick to for longer.
Find your pace.
4. Keep Your Mind Sharp and Stay Independent As You Age
Do you know that mental and physical health go hand in hand?
Regarding aging, it is not only fitness that matters; your cognitive skills and healthy mind are equally crucial for leading an active life.
Now the question is,
what measures can you take to stay mentally healthy to sustain a physically healthy body?
To keep your mind sharp and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline, you must follow some tips on boosting brainpower and staying mentally active.
5 Tips to Increase Brain Power And Stay Mentally Active
- Read, read, and read; the tip is similar to that old tip you got when you were young. Feel young and continue your reading habit. Reading is a consistent workout for your brain. Choose the topics you are interested in and get to read.
- One effective way of training your brain is to solve crossword puzzles. It is an entertaining yet engaging way to give your brain the desired workout to maintain that cognitive functioning.
- Always keep your learning spirits high; you can learn at any age, learn a new skill, maybe a musical instrument. Your brain may take longer to learn but don’t let it keep you from trying.
- How about playing board games? You can improve your memory and attention skills. You will get mental and social benefits from playing games.
- Never stop discovering new things; use the internet to get online training to take up any course in history, arts, or science to keep your mind engaged and active.
Now that you have incorporated simple yet practical ways to stay active and physically independent as you age, It is time to find no limits binding on you.
Go and get along with any of the adventures you wish to undertake.