Starting a Fitness Journey in Later Life

Starting a Fitness Journey in Later Life

When we read about starting a fitness journey, it’s often focused on younger people. There’s the occasional advice on starting exercise in your 40s or 50s, but it’s often assumed that if you are over 60 then you are either already set in an exercise routine, or that it’s too old to get one. Many younger people would assume that someone in their 60s or older is too unfit, unhealthy, inflexible, or just old, to get started with resistance band leg workouts.

But it’s never too late. Of course, it will be easier to start exercising if you have done it before, or have led a very active life, but that’s true at any age. Starting to exercise in later life can have its challenges, but the benefits mean that it’s more than worthwhile.

Here we’ll discuss why every home gym should have an elliptical machine like spin bikes, treadmill, Ellipticals etc. By owning the best treadmill for home use and using it on a regular basis you can significantly improve your cardio and muscular strength while reducing the risk for heart, metabolic, and joint related health disease.

Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

There are countless benefits of exercise for seniors. These include:

  • Increased confidence
  • Improved sleep
  • Mental health boost
  • A way to meet new people and spend time with friends
  • Improved joint health and flexibility
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and other health conditions

Check-in with Your Doctor

What you can do very much depends on your health and fitness levels before you start. Check-in with your doctor or another health professional for advice tailored to you, to help make sure you are working out safely.

Start Slowly

As we get older, our muscle tone deteriorates, our bone strength drops, and our maximum heart rate decreases. This means that we can’t move as fast or for as long and that we aren’t as strong. That doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise, but it does mean that you should start very slowly and build up things like distance and intensity very gradually. Swimming and walking can be ideal starting points.

Find a Community

Exercise is always easier to stick to if you are doing it with a friend, or as part of a group. Look for classes aimed at seniors in your local area, join walking groups, or invite a friend to exercise with you.

Many seniors find that exercising regularly is easier while living in an assisted living community. Look for independent living facilities that offer a range of fitness opportunities. Brandywine Living independent living facilities near me can be a great place to start.

Aim for Consistency

Exercise is most beneficial and you are more likely to stick with it if it’s part of your daily routine. This is one of the reasons that seniors in independent living communities exercise more frequently than those that live alone. Start by aiming for 15 minutes of extra movement a day.

Be Careful with Strength Training

Lifting weights can be harder for seniors, especially if it’s not something that you have done before. If you do want to build strength, bodyweight exercises like squats or Pilates can be much safer.

Fuel Your Body

As we get older, our appetites often shrink. We can find it harder to enjoy large meals and feel full more quickly. But if you are adding exercise to your routine, you’ll need more calories. If eating big meals is hard, focus on small meals or snacks more regularly, and eat what you fancy, instead of trying to stick to a specific diet.

It’s never too late to exercise. But as an older person, you shouldn’t be surprised if it takes a long time to see results, or if your body takes a long time to adjust. Take it easy, don’t put pressure on yourself, and enjoy the positives that you do see, such as the confidence boost and the mental health benefits.

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