2.21.18: Fitness Over 50: Functional and Fun
The key to living a longer, more vibrant life is maintaining functional fitness. Functional fitness is defined as movements that help you in your everyday life. Think cross-body and full-body motions, bending or picking something up off the floor. The goal is to build a body capable of real-life activities.
Functional fitness is greatly important for older adults. What do you need to do, want to do or dream of doing? You need to get groceries, empty a dishwasher, clean your house. You want to hike, cycle or play with your grandkids. Not everybody dreams of competing in an Ironman competition at age 75, but you can feel good on the daily.
So what are some ways make your senior years robust and independent?
Exercise. Find activities you love, and do them several times per week. Incorporate strength-training and cardio.
Low-impact activity is kind to joints and promotes longevity. Seniors can strengthen joints through muscle and ligament strengthening. Cycling does this without impact or lateral movement.
Lose excess weight. An overweight woman who drops as little as 11 pounds reduces the chance of getting arthritis in her knees by 50 percent. Ten pounds of excess body weight delivers an extra 20 to 30 pounds of stress to your knees with every step.
Change your view of aging. Aging isn’t bad; it’s natural. Focus on the positive! You don’t do the stupid stuff you did when you in your twenties – and would you want to anyway? Seniors can enjoy their grandchildren; and focus on hobbies and activities that are important to them such as charities or volunteering.
Take responsibility. You control your level of exercise, eating, stress, and sleep. Is your trajectory of aging leading to frailty or independence?
It’s never too late to start, but that doesn’t mean you should wait! You can get fit at 60, but if you’ve taken care of yourself from 50 to 60, it’s a whole lot easier.
Hit your 30 minutes of activity per day and stay connected with our fun-to-use app that provides aerobic and strength-building exercises in one-minute bursts. No special equipment needed – just your phone and positive vibes.
Sources: WebMd, Chicago Tribune