It's no secret that exercise is good for both body and mind. So it's important to keep moving, whatever your age. However, it's essential to choose your activity carefully and do everything you can to avoid injury.
The benefits of moving
There are many advantages to staying active, including:
- Preventing health problems
- Reducing the risk of falls
- Breaking isolation
- Improving mood and reducing the risk of depression
- Increasing energy levels
Equip yourself to avoid injury
Before starting any physical activity, it's important to make sure you've got everything you need to keep moving for a long time to come.
- Make sure you have the right equipment. For example, if you're hiking in the mountains, you'll need good shoes, or if you're biking, a helmet is a must.
- Warm up before you get moving. The aim is to prepare your body for the activity, so start slowly and gradually increase your heart rate.
- Stay hydrated before, during and after your activity. Sports drinks are available, but they are often way too sugary. Water is the ideal beverage for light-to-moderate-intensity activities.
- Take the weather into account and dress appropriately to avoid weather-related problems. Rain doesn't have to be unpleasant, just make sure you're well-dressed.
- Vary your activities to stimulate your interest and work different muscle groups.
- Avoid sports with a high risk of falls or contact. The aim is not to go to the Olympics. Simply to do something to improve your health.
- Listen to your body. If you feel discomfort or pain, stop and take a break.
- Consult a healthcare professional as needed, especially if you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes, or if you suffer from pain.
Which activity should you choose?
When selecting your activity, consider your personal preferences and passions. Opt for something that sparks your interest and motivates you. Incorporate this activity into your schedule to increase the likelihood of maintaining it regularly. Practicing with someone else, whether a friend or family member, can also boost your dedication. Make sure the activity you choose aligns with your budget, as excessively expensive activities could discourage your long-term commitment. Take advantage of any discounts and benefits reserved for seniors whenever possible.
Getting moving doesn't have to be complicated, there are plenty of physical activities within easy reach:
- Walking is a complete physical activity that involves your whole body. It requires no equipment other than a good pair of shoes. In addition to improving cardiovascular fitness, it can help prevent osteoporosis.
- Swimming is a great sport for those suffering from pain. Swimming exerts less impact on the joints.
- Cycling is good exercise for improving endurance and balance. Just watch out for falls and wear a helmet.
- Yoga improves flexibility and helps reduce stress and anxiety.
- Golf is a sport that enables you to have a good time outdoors, walk a reasonable distance (if you don't take a cart, of course) and have a good time with friends.
- Muscle-building exercises have the advantage of improving muscle mass and, by the same token, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. There's no need to use weights. Try elastic bands or everyday objects.
Moving doesn't necessarily mean intensive sports
Every opportunity is a good one to get moving, whether you're doing housework, gardening or walking to run your errands. Walk whenever you can and take the stairs instead of the elevator. One extra step in your day is better than nothing!
Article written in partnership with Vie de Grands-Parents