It’s no secret that as we age it becomes increasingly important to stay active. An active lifestyle improves our fitness and it also helps keep our minds and bodies healthy and needs to be a regular part of daily life.
As we age our bodies go through many changes. Loss of muscle mass and bone density means our joints become less flexible, making movement and regular exercise difficult. Joint inflammation due to diet and disease also becomes more common.
An active lifestyle helps us in a number of different ways:
- Improved joint health
- better balance and coordination
- increased muscle mass
- stronger bones
- improved mental health and cognitive function
There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re staying active as you age:
Find an activity or exercise that you enjoy and make it part of your regular routine. This could be something as simple as taking a brisk walk around your neighbourhood or going for a swim at your local pool. Set realistic goals for yourself and work towards gradually increasing your activity level. If you haven’t been active in a while start slowly and build up gradually.
And doing this with friends and colleagues also helps to encourage and motivate us to do better, makes us accountable as well as increases our social interaction.
Flexibility and Stretching
Flexibility and stretching are two essential elements of our fitness. Unfortunately, they are often overlooked in favour of other activities such as cardiovascular exercise and strength training. However, flexibility and stretching can offer numerous benefits for health.
For example, this can help improve your range of motion and prevent injuries, allowing you to exercise longer, or at a higher level. Stretching can also help to improve circulation and increase the oxygen flow to the muscles. Additionally, flexibility and stretching help to improve posture and relieve stress on the body and joints.
Even just a few minutes of stretching each day can be effective for overall health, so you should be sure to include this into your daily routine. Make sure to warm up before any physical activity and cool down afterwards. This will help to prevent injuries and sore muscles. Your body will thank you for it.