One of the most amazing things about exercise is that it’s never too late to begin. Studies have shown incredible results when people in their mid to late sixties change their completely sedentary lifestyle by adding daily walks of one mile in distance, which slashed their risk of all death by all causes, including cancer, by nearly 50 percent. And the most impressive part? These benefits are as effective for those who begin exercising later in life as they are for those who have doing it for years.
Our bodies want to move, and it’s never too late to start. You don’t have to become a gym rate or a marathon runner to make smart, effective and realistic changes over time. Here’s how to start exercising in four easy steps.
Starting slowly is the best way to avoid injury, excessive muscle pain and fatigue, especially if you haven’t been very active. Avoid overdoing it, and opt for not doing enough, particularly in the beginning. It’s pointless to work so hard that you need weeks to recover. Just start small and remember that the goal is to build endurance over time.
Plan for Frequency
At the beginning of your week, make a plan for your workouts and schedule them as you would appointments. Remember that you’re starting slowly, so your initial workouts may only be ten or twenty minutes long. That’s fine. Work up to thirty minutes of so, but don’t overdo it.
Consider a Training Partner
Accountability can be the difference between sticking to your training program or not. Finding a personal trainer has the added benefits of someone with experience, expertise and the know-how to get you to your fitness goals safely and effectively. But working out with a spouse, a friend or in a group with an organized fitness class are also good ways to commit.
Find Something You Like
Training with a personal trainer can help you discover what fitness options suit you best. Whether it’s walking, tennis, exercise machines, weights, or a combination of everything, find something you enjoy doing. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about getting started, a few sessions with a certified personal trainer may be a smart move.
And Before You Begin
Before you do anything, you should get your doctor’s approval first. It’s a good idea for people at any age, but it’s critical for people in their golden years or those with heart, lung or other health conditions. By bringing your doctor on board, you’ll also stay on top of things like medication updates. In many instances, exercise, weigh loss and improved nutrition can help control health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes – even to the point that you can come off certain medications. That’s why it’s so important that your doctor knows what you’re doing to improve your health.