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Forever Fit: Motivation Tips for Exercise as We Age

by Jessica Hegg January 23, 2024 0 Comments

Grey haired retired pensioner smile show thumb up wear sportswear indoors in house

Most seniors know that exercise is good for them, and many have even been proactive enough to start a regular exercise routine. But after the first few weeks, we often find that getting motivated to work out isn’t as easy as it used to be. To get all the benefits of your physical activity, it’s important to stick to your fitness goals, and that means staying motivated.

If you’re having trouble working up the motivation to get started on exercise, take a look at some of these motivational tips below.

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Motivational Exercise Tips

Need a new way to renew interest in your old workout routine? Try one of these tips to stay motivated for the long term.

Make Your Workout More Social

There’s nothing better than a workout buddy to keep you motivated. Not only will they make your exercise more fun, but they’ll also hold you accountable on those days when you don’t feel like breaking a sweat. You don’t even need to thank them–just make sure you return the favor.

When exercising with groups, you can go beyond the regular run or gym routine. Try finding groups of seniors to play pickleball with, go on a group hike, or try a yoga class. Soon you’ll have a regular exercise routine and a few new friends!

Find Your Fun

Even if you’re exercising alone, it’s important to find an activity that’s as fun as it is effective. If jogging isn’t your style, try cycling, swimming, or canoeing. The key is to experiment and try a range of different activities before you settle on one you like. It’s even a good idea to switch up your routine regularly to make sure it doesn’t get stale. If you’re not looking forward to your next workout, consider trying a sport or other fun physical activity instead.

Even a simple piece of exercise equipment can be the breath of fresh air you need. Try an exercise ball and see what a difference it can make!

Set Goals and Track Your Progress

If you’ve found a routine that’s fun and effective, the next step is to build in a bit of structure to make sure you stick with it for the long term. By setting a quantifiable goal, you can measure your success and track your progress over time. Make sure to stick with things you can measure, like minutes ran, number of laps, or total distance.

Use an app or keep a journal to record your success. Over time, you can increase your goals and gradually improve. Over the long term, you can even set external goals to strive for, for an extra boost in motivation. Examples include running a marathon or participating in a charity event.

Stay Flexible

Stretching is always a good idea, but in this case, we’re talking about keeping your routine flexible to the inevitable hurdles life throws at you. If you have a particularly busy week and need to miss a day of exercise, don’t let it discourage you. Just use it as extra motivation to show up with your best effort next time.

There are lots of disruptions that can make it hard to stick to your regular workout routine. Here are some of the most common, and what you can do to stick to your goals:

  • Injury

    It’s never a good idea to work a sprained or strained muscle. If you have a short-term injury, it’s time to set new goals until you get better. Make sure to talk to a doctor or physical therapist for guidance. Chair exercises are a great option for those suffering from an injury.

  • Sickness

    Depending on the severity, you can still do a light workout, even while sick. Even a short walk around your block can be a good way to stay committed.

  • Vacation

    You’d be surprised how many hotels have gyms where you can get in a good cardio workout while on the go. Pools are another common option for exercising on vacation.

  • Inclimate Weather

    It’s always a good idea to have indoor workout options ready for when you can’t go out. A pedal exerciser may be just the thing.

Find Exercise Wherever You Go

Finally, don’t forget that there are always opportunities to get in a bit of extra physical activity. Try using the stairs rather than the elevator when possible. If you live in a city, try running errands on foot rather than in the car. A visit to a friend can be the perfect excuse to get in a bit of extra walking. Soon you’ll be finding opportunities to exercise everywhere you look!

Why Seniors Need Regular Exercise

The truth is that exercise benefits just about everyone, though for seniors it plays an even more important role. Regular exercise has shown to:

There are many reasons for this but it has a lot to do with decreasing the risk of diseases that affect older adults. The risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke are all lessened by regular physical activity. In addition, regular exercise also has been shown to benefit psychological health and emotional well-being. By contrast, a lack of physical exercise leads to weight gain, loss of bone density, and depression.

The key is that we only see the true benefits of exercise if we stick to a routine of three hours each week, for six months or longer. While it might sound challenging, it may be a more achievable goal than you think, as long as you take it one day at a time.

Long-Term Fitness for Lasting Benefits

Building a personal fitness plan is always a work in progress. By letting your workout evolve alongside your needs, you can stay motivated for the long term. Just don’t forget–while long-term fitness is a worthwhile goal, leave yourself a little wiggle room, and take a break when you need it.

Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

Jessica Hegg is the content manager and at ViveHealth.com. With vast product knowledge and understanding of individual needs, she aims to share valuable information on making smart buying choices, overcoming obstacles and overall improving the quality of life for others. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living healthy lifestyle.



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