Spring Clean Your Physical Activity Routine
Along with sorting out closets and vacuuming behind the couch this Spring, consider refreshing your physical activity routine.
Strength Train with Others
Strength training is one of the most important things you can do to keep your bones and muscles in shape. And strengthening is often an easy place to start becoming more physically active. Lifting weights that are relatively light and doing a few sets of repetitions every other day will make you stronger even in a couple of weeks, no matter what your age is.
Strength training with others can ensure you are doing each exercise safely, with proper form. Consider contacting your local senior center, YMCA or Jewish Community Center. Most offer low- or no-cost strength training classes.
The StrongWomen Program is another great option. It is offered in many locations across the country free of charge. Find out if there is a program in your area.
If you’re new to strength training, look for an instructor who is certified. Hospital programs generally offer group exercise options for seniors (including strength training) and are likely to hire only certified fitness professionals. Look for condition-specific programs (e.g., cancer, arthritis) tailored to meet your needs most effectively.
Try Tai Chi
This ancient practice is a gentle, low-impact and graceful physical activity that is described as “meditation in motion.” The Arthritis Foundation offers a DVD that you can follow at home or use their website to find a class offered in your area or call them toll-free at 1-800-283-7800.
Start a Walking Club
Walking outdoors in balmy spring weather will raise your spirits and help you move more to prevent cancer. Start a walking club with some friends and neighbors.
The American Heart Association offers all the tools you need to get started. Explore new routes in your area using their Find a Walking Path tool or call toll-free 1-800-242-8721.
Think Outside the Gym
Gardening and yard work are two great options to keep active. But start slowly. After winter inactivity, most people need to pace themselves and stretch regularly while working outdoors.
Remember, there is no “right” exercise program. The key is to choose activities that nourish your body, mind and spirit.
Published on May 1, 2014