• By providing this information, you allow The Manhattan St. Petersburg to contact you. See our Privacy Policy for more details.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Staying Fit and Active as You Age

When Sir Isaac Newton wrote that a body in motion stays in motion, he was talking about physics. However, it is true for human beings as well! Staying fit and active requires you to move more and sit less, particularly if you want to enjoy a healthy, active retirement. Being more active can even help you think, feel, and sleep better, and perform daily tasks more easily. Fortunately, it is never too late to increase your activity and improve your fitness. And choosing a senior living community that supports active living can be an excellent first step.

The Secrets to an Active Retirement and Staying Fit

Get Moving!

Doctors recommend active seniors do 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio activity most days to stay healthy. However, if you are a long-term couch potato, that may seem like a lot. Do not be discouraged. You do not need to do it all at once. Two 15-minute sessions, or three 10-minute bursts, reap just as much reward.

Some think they need to spend time at the gym struggling to keep up with muscle-bound athletes. That is also a misconception. According to the American Heart Association, almost any physical activity counts as cardio. They describe it as activity that “makes the heart beat faster and can make breathing harder than normal, but still allows for one to carry on a conversation.”

Naturally, you will want to check with your own physician before beginning any new exercise program. This is especially important if you have any chronic conditions.

 Take Those Steps

One of the best exercises for active seniors is brisk walking and it requires no gym membership or special equipment. Walking at a good pace raises your heart rate and is weight-bearing, so it helps strengthen your bones as well. Make it more enjoyable by grabbing a water bottle and popping on some headphones for music or a podcast. Better yet, bring along a friend or pet to keep you company, and you are all set.

Other fun, low-impact ways to get moving include hiking, swimming, water aerobics, line dancing, square dancing, clogging, and riding a bicycle. These are just a few. The options are endless!

Maintain Strength

Because bodies begin losing muscle after age 30, it is important for healthy aging to mix in some strength building exercise. It does not have to be complicated. If you are a newbie, start slowly, using one- or five-pound weights. No weights? No problem! Improvise by using canned goods, water bottles, or books as your weights. You can also work with resistance bands—stretchy loops in various lengths—to add challenge to arm and leg exercises. You can add entertainment to your exercise time as well. Simply keep your equipment near the television and see how a 30-minute makes the time fly. Or use commercial breaks to complete your exercises a few repetitions at a time.

If you live in an active retirement community, you might want to take advantage of the strength training equipment or free weights in the fitness center. Many even offer the guidance of a personal trainer.

Stretch Out

Another key to staying fit is flexibility. Many activities, like yoga for instance, can improve balance, strength, and flexibility. By improving all three of these, you can alleviate some aches and pains today and help avoid falls and injuries in the future.

Yoga, tai chi, and qi gong are gentle, time-honored ways to keep you bendable and loose. Pilates, which combines yoga and resistance exercise, is another good choice for maintaining muscle tightness and keeping joint stiffness away. Simple, old-fashioned stretching, or swimming (which, by the way, is cardio), can also do the trick.

Count the Benefits of Staying Active as You Age

Beginning an exercise program and staying fit can make you feel better physically and boost your emotional outlook. It can also restore dwindling energy and fuel your brain. Exercise has even been proven to improve chronic health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure. Get moving today—make it your first step toward a more fit and active retirement!

Active senior living communities, like The Manhattan, coming soon to St. Petersburg, Florida, typically offer fully equipped exercise facilities and a generous calendar of fitness classes. So much selection makes it easy to try new activities until you find one you like. It also allows you to participate in a variety of activities, so you don’t become bored with just one. To learn more about The Manhattan’s countless options for staying fit and active, call 941-213-4711, or schedule a personal appointment.