Are you intimidated by exercise? Don’t be.
Like most activities, exercise gets easier with practice.
“You’re more likely to stick with something if you enjoy it,” says Pam Rodgers, well-being coordinator and personal trainer at Good Samaritan Society – Las Cruces Village. “So make it fun!”
Her tips for getting the most out of exercise:
Aim for 30 minutes of moderate cardio (such as brisk walking) three times a week and build from there. If you have a medical condition or injury, check with your doctor first.
“It’s a good way to start if you’re new to exercise,” Pam says. “Many gyms offer a free fitness assessment and training session with membership.”
“Put exercise on your schedule, like any other appointment,” Pam says. “Then you’ll be less likely to let something else get in the way.”
“Music adds so much to a workout,” says Pam. “It helps you set your pace and elevates your mood.” Studies have shown that listening to music makes exercise, even high-intensity interval training, feel easier.
Do different types of exercise: cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and balance. Not only to avoid boredom and overuse injuries, but to improve overall fitness. “Balance training helps prevent falls as you get older,” Pam says.
“Exercising with others is motivating,” Pam says. A new study suggests that any activity that involves moving and socializing, such as line dancing or group fitness sessions, helps maintain brain health in aging adults.
No classes? Find a workout partner. “You’ll encourage each other and keep each other accountable,” Pam says. “You might be tempted to skip a workout but you won’t if it means letting your buddy down.”
Remember Proverbs 23:7? As you think in your heart, so you are.
Don’t let defeatist thoughts deter you. For example, instead of, “I’m too old (or too fat) to get in shape,” remind yourself: “Day by day, step by step, I’m getting stronger.”
Have something to work toward, whether it’s participating in a 5K, walking without a cane or dancing at your grandchild’s wedding. A trainer can design your fitness program to help reach your goal.