How to get back into exercising after 65

We all know that exercising is good for our physical and mental health and it is a vital part of staying active and healthy, but many of us still neglect it. 

In adulthood, being out of shape may not be as apparent but as you get older, you may start to notice more aches and pains or find yourself getting out of breath easier. You may have once stayed pretty fit due to your job, especially if you’ve worked in a physically demanding job. But once we retire and life starts to slow down, it can become more apparent that we’re not as fit as we once were. 

The good news is that it’s never too late to start or improve your fitness routine – you may even end up being the fittest you’ve ever been. Whether you’ve just turned 65 or you’ve passed that milestone, we’re here to help you with getting back to (or starting) exercising.

Where do I start?

Before you embark on any new fitness challenges, it is important to take a trip to the doctors – especially if you haven’t been in a while. Your doctor will be able to give you a physical examination to determine your current fitness levels and if you have any existing conditions that may affect certain exercises.  

Your doctor will be able to give you more advice on where to start and what is best for you. They will help you get started and more importantly, make sure you are exercising safely.

Once you have spoken to your doctor and determined what’s best for you, write a list of all the things you already enjoy doing or think you would enjoy. You might like walking in the countryside, practising some morning yoga or going swimming. Or, you might want to try something new like an exercise class or a team sport. 

Creating an exercise routine is a great way to make sure you stay on track and make exercise a permanent part of your day-to-day. Read our blog here on how to create an exercise routine.

How to get over the fear of exercising

If you’ve never exercised or haven’t done so for a long time, it can be quite daunting or nerve-racking going to a new class or heading to the gym for the first time. 

Here are our top tips for getting over the exercise fear:

1. Eliminate any negative thoughts:

You may find that your thoughts are holding you back from getting started. Whether you’re worried about other people judging you, not knowing what you’re doing, or doubting yourself, remember that you’re bettering yourself and your health. If you find yourself thinking something negative, try and swap it for a more positive thought.

2. Remember, no one starts off as an expert:

No one started exercising and was an expert straightaway, it takes time to build skills and endurance. So don’t feel disheartened if you don’t feel like an expert from the outset.

3. Get a fitness buddy:

Having a friend, partner or family member to exercise with can help release some of the anxiety around exercising. Not only can it make it less daunting, but it can also make it more fun. You can encourage and motivate each other to stay on track and keep smashing your goals.

4. Find something you love:

Doing activities that you love can make it easier to exercise; you may love long walks in the countryside or heading to the gym for an early morning gym class or swim. 

5. Join beginners’ classes or groups:

This can help you learn how to do things with the help of an instructor and with other people.

Set goals and monitor your progress

Before you start exercising – or even during – you may want to set some goals, whether that’s to master a new yoga pose, run 5km, reach 10,000 steps a day, lose a bit of weight, gain a bit of weight, or maybe trying out a new fitness class each month. Whatever you want to achieve, setting goals can help you stay motivated and feel accomplished when you achieve them.

Be sure to monitor your progress, this could be done using a fitness watch or your smartphone, or you may want to buy a notebook and write down everything you do and all the milestones you hit.

Just start - but start slowly

We often put off starting something new until a new week, or a new month, or even a new year, but in reality, the best time to start is now. It can feel quite daunting getting started, especially if you’re apprehensive to begin with. 

Start slowly, maybe begin by increasing your steps each day or add one exercise class into your week and slowly increase it until you reach a level of activity that works for you. For some people, it might just be a 30-minute walk every morning or evening, for others it might be three exercise classes a week. Everyone’s different so don’t feel pressured into doing more than you need. Don’t forget to stretch before and after exercise to prevent any injuries!

Remember to fuel your body and hydrate

As you increase your exercise, it is important to make sure you are drinking lots of water to hydrate your body as well as taking a look at your diet and eating habits to make sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet that will fuel you during your exercises. 

Read our blog to find food that will help you feel your best.

Have fun!

Above all, it is important to have fun; if you’re not enjoying the exercise you’re doing then most likely, you won’t stick to it. You may find that you have to try a few different types of activities before you find one you truly enjoy.

If you’re looking for some fun virtual exercise classes to do, then why not take a look at some of the classes available on our Virtual Village Centre.

How we can help!

One of the many benefits of living in an Inspired village is that we have wellness navigators who can work with you on reaching your fitness goals, not to mention facilities such as pools, gyms with specialist strength-oriented equipment, and numerous activities going on to facilitate that exercise routine. 

If you’d like to find out more about us and the benefits and attractions of renting or buying a home in an Inspired village, get in touch today or read our blog on the benefits of living in a retirement village.

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