Growing older is filled with change and new challenges to be confronted. For many, these changes often involve coping with a decrease in athletic performance and abilities. However, just because you’re growing older doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy an active lifestyle. If you are someone who is in their 50’s and 60’s, here are 3 tips to get you moving.
Find an Activity You Enjoy
One of the easiest ways that you can ensure that you remain active into your 50’s and 60’s is by finding an activity that you enjoy doing. Many people feel the need to be active by doing routines and exercises that are either too complicated to do, require a large time investment, or are simply not fun. These people are setting themselves up for failure, and you are less likely to continue to participate in an activity unless it’s enjoyable.
If you’re unsure of what you can do to stay active, think about your hobbies. There are most likely plenty of people within your social circle who are living an active lifestyle. By partnering up with a friend, it’ll help get you on your feet and moving about. Plus, you’ll have someone to talk to while you exercise.
Whether you’re a world-class athlete or simply trying to lose a few pounds, proper nutrition is the single greatest asset you can have in helping you to stay active throughout the life cycle. As you age, your body begins to function less efficiently than it did when you were younger. Organs may begin to have more difficulty performing their tasks, and can lead to age related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.
Knowing what to eat and in what quantities is essential in maintaining proper fitness and a high degree of energy. With aging comes a loss of lean muscle mass, making the intake of muscle-building protein even more important. Eating foods like chicken and fish, which are naturally high in protein content, can help you to build muscle and ward off potential injuries.
As with all dietary changes, it’s important to discuss with your doctor just what is and isn’t acceptable for consumption. For example, carbohydrates are a vital source of energy and a great way to get that extra boost when participating in physical activities. But, those with diabetes should limit their sugar intake in order to prevent a negative reaction. Speak with your doctor and physical therapist before making any major changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Have the Proper Gear
When it comes to being active, it’s always important to have the proper athletic gear for your activity of choice. Not only can it help you to feel more confident, it can also help you stay injury free. Since not all equipment is created equal, you should think carefully about what it is you hope to accomplish with you activity, and what items are necessary to ensure you have the best, safest time possible.
For example, if jogging is your activity of choice, make sure that you have the proper shoes. Many running shoes have special padding that reduces the wear and tear on your joints, allowing for longer trips down your favorite jogging path or up your favorite mountain. Alternatively, if long walks are your ideal activity, you might only need some inexpensive inserts to give your daily shoes that extra amount of padding they need to get through the trip.
No matter your preferred method of getting up and getting moving, always pay attention to any signs of pain or stiffness within the body. Overdoing it can be a way to injure yourself and stop you from enjoying the activities you love. Should you find yourself dealing with more than the normal aches and pains of exercise, working with a physical therapist is a great way to heal yourself naturally.
Contact Lonoke Physical Therapy today and speak with our experts!