admin on Jun 29th 2011 12:00 am
As the human body ages it is important to retain muscle tone and flexibility. One way to accomplish this is by regular exercise. While in the workforce, we tend to move more at our jobs, traveling to and from work, and taking part in activities at work and with our families. After retirement, we have to find the right way to replace this movement and stay active and healthy. Planning a way to fit the right exercise program into your day is important, not difficult, and can be fun and entertaining.
The first thing to remember is to properly warm up your muscles prior to exercising, whether it be strength training, jogging, walking, swimming, or bike riding. Stretching is important so as not to strain muscles and put undo stress on joints. Always stretch for 10-15 minutes prior to continuing with your workout. Bend to touch toes, windmill exercises with arms outstretched to your side while twisting your body gently, and neck rotation exercises are a great way to begin your warm-up.
Simple activities can replace formalized exercises. Walking briskly to bus stops or parking places can replace formalized jogging, but remember to ensure the walk increases your heart rate. Strive to incorporate some type of exercise into your day at least three days a week and slowly build strength training into the program at least once a week. Lifting, pulling, or pushing exercises will increase muscle strength and endurance. Commercially available resistance bands can take the place of expensive weights and machines. If you exercise regularly you will be improving your balance without knowing it, but as we age there is always need to improve upon it. Standing on one leg for as long as you can or walking with a book on your head are ways to keep your balance in check.
Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion states, “a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force” Do not let aging be the outside force that causes you to lose motion.