You hear it all the time, “don’t get old,” if it’s not someone directly saying it, it’s TV shows and magazines not-so-subtly hinting at it. Old age comes with a hefty stigma, but that doesn’t mean you need to be part of the stereotype.
In reality, it’s not the number of candles on the birthday cake that make you old, but the lack of activity and adventure as you age. Research has repeatedly found that sedentary lifestyles are harmful to health and that active people typically age better with fewer health problems.
Even knowing this, you might be thinking that it’s too late to get active, maybe you’re convinced you missed your window, but that’s just not true. Pending clearance from your doctor, you can enjoy sports and adventure—and we’re not talking about light walking and gardening.
If you’re wondering about how to get active at any age, read on for 10 great ideas.
When it comes to health and fitness, it’s tough to beat the benefits of water. Swimming improves strength and cardiovascular fitness in an atmosphere that’s easy on the joints, which makes it an ideal choice for older people. Other perks of the in-water workout include increased flexibility, better bone density and improved heart health. Regardless of your age, swimming, aqua-aerobics and other water-based workouts are safe and very effective. One study even found that older adults who swam were 33 percent less likely to fall—a major cause of injury in people 70 and older.
If the term “weight lifting” conjures images of young body builders pumping iron, it’s time to rethink this form of exercise. Safe and effective for older adults, lifting or strength training brings a slew of benefits including confidence, better sleep and fortified muscles and bones. Science also suggests strength training can help relieve arthritis pain, lower the chances of a fall and prevent premature death. Weight lifting programs can be tailored to fit people of all ages and abilities, making this a great choice for everyone—even those short on time.