Age is no barrier to fitness, or at least it doesn't have to be. While sedentary behaviours continue to have a negative effect on health outcomes around the world, some older people are taking a proactive approach. As the global population ages, mature people are taking a renewed interest in sport, fitness, and personal wellbeing. Whether it's social fitness classes dedicated to older people or at-home exercise routines inspired by ageing social media stars, being fit and healthy is not limited to the young.
Maintaining your fitness as you age has a positive effect on both body and mind. Regular exercise has been shown to increase quality of life measures, help people to avoid accidents and injuries, reduce risk of heart disease and other conditions, and maintain mental health and clarity among other benefits. Attending regular fitness classes can also have a positive social effect, with elderly people making new friends and feeling less isolated.
You don't have to be a professional athlete to experience these benefits, with even a few minutes a day found to make a huge difference. While you may need to go a bit slower as you get older, the lifestyle benefits you experience can be even more profound. Gym sessions and fitness classes dedicated to mature people are easy to find in 2020, and you can easily work out in the comfort of your own home.
As we get older, certain exercises may get more difficult or be more likely to lead to injury. While regular exercise doesn't necessarily put you at risk, it's important to avoid anything that makes you feel off-balance or unsafe. Over time, however, increased movement will help you to build strength and stamina, which will help to prevent bone loss, increase flexibility, and reduce your risk of falling. Balance and flexibility routines are key for older people, with cardio and strength training also important to make daily activities easier.
If you really don't enjoy exercising, you're certainly not alone. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can benefit from regular activity without wearing lycra or going near a set of weights. Incorporating health and fitness into your daily life is even more important as we get older, so think about merging fitness and recreation, and taking little steps (sometimes quite literally) throughout the day. Going for a walk in nature or even indulging in a shopping adventure can be a great way to increase your activity. Enjoying a game of tennis or golf with your friends is another great way to get fit and have fun at the same time.
Quality of life is a major concern for everyone as they age, and nothing improves quality of life outcomes more than physical fitness. While you may not be able to lose as much weight or gain as much muscle as you did a few decades ago, you have even more power to affect how you live on a daily basis. As you slowly incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine, you're likely to feel better, sleep better, and move more freely so you can keep doing the things you love.