Why It's Never Too Late to START!Dec 30, 2022
Let's start with .....
Why It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising AKA "Get Active"
It’s common knowledge that exercise is one of the best health prevention tools at our disposal. Doctors and public health bodies have promoted exercise for decades as something we should all do on a daily basis.
But some people may feel uncomfortable with the idea of exercise in later life. With youthful, toned bodies strewn across television and movie screens, the idea of fitness often goes hand-in-hand with youthfulness.
Like most age-related stereotypes however, the idea of exercise and youthfulness needs to be abolished. It is never too late to start exercising, and you will reap nothing but benefits so long as you do so safely, and in manner that best suits your current fitness level. Unfortunately, inactivity is a major problem for many Canadians.
The magnitude of the issue
Currently, there is a chronic lack of exercise in the lives of most Canadians, and those in later life are no exception. ParticipACTION, which acts to promote healthy and active lifestyles amongst Canadians, quotes a Statistics Canada finding that shows 80% of adult Canadians do not get the recommended amount of daily or weekly exercise.1 The situation is to the point that ParticipACTION calls it a “crisis.”
Sadly, most people are fully aware that themselves, or others, lack enough exercise: a staggering 87% in fact. And this inactivity comes at a cost, to the tune of almost $7 billion per year, likely due to premature deaths, health care costs, and lost productivity.
How to start exercising in later life
So, with those dire words out of the way, let’s shift to a more positive note: doing something about this acute lack of exercise, and getting down to it! But, as with anything, there are certain things you should do before beginning any exercise regimen. The Cleveland Clinic offers some great advice for those wanting to get into the habit of exercising regularly, especially for those who have not done so in a while.2
1. This may seem like an obvious one, but: see your doctor. Get a physical, and your doctor will be able to assess your fitness level. Your doctor will also be able to advise which exercises may be best suited to your current physical state, taking into account any conditions you may have (knee or joint problems, diabetes, etc.).
2. Take note of your progress in a notebook, for example. You can see what level of weights you began with, and see your gains over time (started with 3 pound weights, proceeded to 5). Seeing progress will only serve to motivate you going forward!
3. Start your routine slowly. And, it’s always a good idea to do some simple stretches before any exercise, even before going for a walk. Loosen up your limbs, and engage your muscles and blood circulation. If you want to start walking at a quicker pace, for example, don’t “burst out of the gates,” so to speak. It’s okay to start slow, indeed, you should start slow, and build up towards a faster pace.
4. Make sure you mix-up your workout routine. Doing the same exercises repeatedly without any variation will train your body to be “used” to those exercises. It’s best to alternate days, and do a mix of aerobic, strength, and balance activities.
5. Keep an eye on your own gains/progress. This is where your notebook or journal will come in handy, too. There are a few basic things you can do to see if your exercise is paying off. For example, use the “talking test”:
“If your heart rate is up, but you can still have a conversation with a person next to you without gasping for air, you’re likely doing it right…”.
Contrarily, you’ll be able to notice if you’re still not exercising enough. Quoting a physical therapist, the Cleveland Clinic article states:
“You won’t see any impact in your level of fatigue, your ability to lift and your ability to walk distances if you are doing too little exercise.”
6. Eat well, and drink lots of water. What we put into our bodies has a large impact on what we get out of our bodies, too. Healthy eating – less salt, alcohol, sugar – and more vegetables, whole grains, fiber are all beneficial. Natural, healthy energy can help give you enough fuel over time, versus high sugar items which only spike blood sugar levels.
Working out with friends can help too!
And, finally, exercise with a friend, or group of friends! Amintro, a social community platform specially designed for people 50+, can help introduce you to new people who share your goals for a better, active, healthier life. Having people to exercise with will help keep you motivated and on-target too!
The cliché goes, “a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” But like most clichés, it’s true, and the same goes for exercise. Getting into better shape and reaching your fitness goals will not happen overnight. It will take time, effort, and perhaps above all else, discipline. But you can do this. Get the right advice from your doctor, do some research, and start at your pace, and your own level. You have nothing to gain but better self-esteem, and better health.
1. ParticipACTION Impact Report 2021-2022 - Supporting Canadians to get active & healthy for over 50 years
2. Cleveland Clinic, You Can Start Exercising After Age 60 – Here’s How, March 25, 2016. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/60-told-exercise-best-tips-get-started/
Written and contributed by Charlene Nadalin, Founder of Amintro. Amintro is the online social platform and information hub exclusively for those 50+ interested in expanding their circles of friends and staying involved, informed, and connected. Another great thing about Amintro is that it’s FREE and easy to join! To learn more about Amintro, please visit https://amintro.com/
Your Next Steps offered by Patricia Muir, Founder of Executive Encore: Women Finding Fulfillment After 60
- Visit ParticipACTION "Get Active" page and click on "Start Today"
- Listen to the Executive Encore podcast. Women Finding Fulfillment After 60!
- Receive Maestro's Encore blog in your inbox with VIP content and specific exercises, self-assessments, and self-assignments related to this topic and to accelerate your emotional well-being and resilience. Start with your 90-Day EQ Mini-Plan or the mini workbook Emotions Drive Performance: Triggers from Thinking to Results - Predispositions, Self-Handicapping, Self-Sabotage
Explore strategies for finding fulfillment after 60. Schedule a 30-minute complimentary call to explore possibilities. On this call, Patricia and you will get acquainted and discuss what outcome is important to you. Patricia will explain the application process for working with her. By the end of the call, you will have a "quick-win" action plan.
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