You’ve probably heard the term, “Use it or lose it” when it comes to exercise, and there’s truth in that. Over time, unused muscles begin to atrophy, which can be a problem as you get older. Exercise helps with balance and strength, helping you avoid falls and keeping your bones healthy for longer.
But you don’t have to lift weights or walk a mile every morning to get that exercise. There are many ways you can work in activity each day. The more fun you can make it, the more likely you’ll stick with it. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Enlist a Buddy
Science has proven that exercising with a buddy makes you remain consistent. Whether it’s a morning walk at the park or taking a class together, find a friend or relative who will partner up for the mission. Not only will this take your mind off the fact that it’s exercise, but it will also give you an accountability buddy, making it much harder to give up after a couple of weeks. If you don’t have such a buddy, chances are you can find a group in your area that meets to walk on a regular basis through a site like Meetup.com.
Take a Class
Classes can be a great way to get exercise without thinking about it. You can find classes designed for fitness, such as yoga or water aerobics. But you can also look for a class geared toward learning, like dancing. If there’s a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, find a class in your area. Not only will it help you get the physical activity you need, but it can also be a great way to socialize.
Walk, Don’t Ride
You don’t have to commit to a set exercise schedule. Even small things you do throughout the day can add up. Invest in a fitness tracker that will monitor the steps you take each day. Over time, you’ll begin to challenge yourself to walk more on an ongoing basis. Whether you have a tracker or not, though, you can boost your health through little things, such as walking the golf course rather than riding a golf cart. Spend time window shopping at the mall for fun or, if you’re physically able, take the stairs instead of the elevator when you visit a multistory building.
One thing that makes sticking with an exercise routine so challenging is the boredom factor. You can offset that by giving yourself something to take your mind off what you’re doing. Audiobooks and podcasts can keep you occupied, possibly even giving you a reason to look forward to your daily exercise time. If you’d prefer music, load some of your favorite songs onto your smartphone or an mp3 player.
By staying active, you’ll be able to improve your overall health and keep yourself strong and flexible. But you don’t have to commit to hours every week. In fact, you can simply work activity in each day through little things. Best of all, you’ll be able to socialize and have fun in the process.