There’s an old adage that says you’re never too old to start something new. When it comes to exercise, this is no exception. While you may have never really been very active for the majority of your life, it’s never too late to start incorporating exercise into your lifestyle and reaping the benefits.
While you may think you need to have the drive of Arnold Schwarzenegger or the flexibility of Stretch Armstrong, think again.
Getting active and exercising is actually pretty simple and can be tailored to fit your likes. An important first step in beginning to exercise is to first seek medical clearance. Make an appointment with your doctor before you begin. He/she will be able to tell you if there are any medical conditions or limitations you should be aware of that could impact your health or ability to exercise.
Also consider working with a certified personal trainer if you are interested in using the gym as an outlet for exercise. A trainer can help ensure you are exercising with proper form, which helps reduce your chance of injury. They can also tailor programs around specific conditions, such as a knee replacement or back problems.
Secondly, you’ll want to think about your goals with exercising. • Do you want to exercise to stay mobile and active? • To gain some strength? • To build muscle to reduce the risk of injury in case of a fall? • To lose some weight?
There are tons of different reasons people have for wanting to start exercising. No matter what reasons you may pick, so long as it is meaningful to you, it’s good enough!
By understanding and recognizing your goal(s), you can structure a systematic time-frame to reach them. For example, if you want to drop five pounds, you’ll want to make sure you leave yourself enough time to drop a healthy amount of weight each week as you progress towards reaching that five pound total.
Once you’ve been cleared to exercise and have some goals in mind, it’s important to make sure you make exercise a priority.
Just as you may have other regularly-scheduled commitments that you don’t miss, view exercise the same way. Pencil it in your calendar just as you would a lunch date with a friend or visit to see the grandkids.
If your days tend to be full and busy, try to squeeze exercise in first thing in the morning. That way, no matter how hectic your day becomes, you’ve already gotten a workout in.
When you think about all the benefits of exercise- weight control, reduced disease risk, increased mood & energy, just to name a few- it’s really a no-brainer. Knowing that there are actions you can take today to increase your length and quality of life should be motivation enough. It’s never too late for you to start exercising and reaping the benefits of living a healthier life.
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