Many of you may not know that the International Council on Active Aging celebrates Active Aging Week, from September 23-29. A lot people participate in this annual event, with this year's theme being many journeys, many destinations. To celebrate this week, we are giving some tips for
healthy, active living, so you don't have to let age slow you down!
1. Determine your participation style
- Do you prefer being with a running group/fitness class or do you like
to fly solo? Do you like indoor or outdoor fitness? How much time can
you dedicate to your fitness routine?
- Before any exercise, your body needs time to adjust to the upcoming
workout. Be sure to take your time, rushing through your warm-up
routine can increase your chance of an injury.
3. Strength training
- Don't be alarmed, you don't need to be a body builder to lift
weights. Starting with small weights and gradually working your way up
will do wonders for an aging body. Many studies have shown that
strength training aids in maintaining muscular mass, benefits your
joints and increases your metabolism.
4. Take a Yoga, Pilates, or stretching
class - These low impact classes are gaining in popularity with our
aging population. They are also a form of strength training and as an
added benefit, help your balance which can reduce falls. One class a week is good, but if you can add a daily stretching routine on top of it, you'll be doing your body a favour.
5. Eat a balanced diet
- We hear this all the time, but it gets even more important as we
age. Try to get as many leafy greens, vegetables, nuts and fish as you
can. All are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals and will give
you the energy you need to stay active.
6. Take your vitamins - If you can get enough vitamins through food, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D and omega 3's can all be taken as a supplement and are great additions to a balanced diet.
7. Get some sleep - Yes, exercise is important, but it's also essential to let your body recover. Take a 15 - 20 minute nap each day; put your feet up, turn off the phone and let your body relax for a bit.
8. Regular medical care - Seeing your doctor for regularly scheduled visits is important for everyone. Even if you are an athlete, we are all prone to the everyday problems of aging.
Exercise is beneficial to everyone, including those with chronic pain or special mobility
needs. Even moderate activity can improve your quality of life so get out there, get moving and above all, have some fun!
References from the SIRC Collection:
1. Dudney G. Run for your life! Aging is not the enemy of the runner as long as the running can be kept fresh. Marathon & Beyond. November 2004;8(6):64-68;70-72.
2. Holviala J, Kraemer W, Häkkinen K, et al. Effects of strength, endurance
and combined training on muscle strength, walking speed and dynamic
balance in aging men. European Journal Of Applied Physiology. April 2012;112(4):1335-1347.
3. Kruger J. Guidelines for physical activity: pointers for active-aging professionals. Journal On Active Aging. January 2010;9(1):34-39.
4. Phillips W, Alvar B. Developing strength in older adults: how much training is 'enough'?. Journal On Active Aging. March 2004;3(2):34-37.
5. Scott D. Beat the aging curve: 25 tips for healthy aging. Triathlete. April 2007;(276):188;190-191.
6. Strength training can relieve knee osteoarthritis. Research Review (International Council On Active Aging). January 28, 2009;9(4):4.