Baby Boomers (1946-1964) often think it is too late for them to start a healthy fitness plan. The truth is, taking simple strides toward incorporating exercise daily is just as important for baby boomers as it is for younger generations. There is no need to train for a marathon or put another lofty goal in place. Through taking small steps each day, baby boomers will find themselves feeling great, healthier and with an overall improved quality of life.
No matter what the age, everyone wants to feel amazing and have a fit body. In this society though, with busy work schedules for all ages, people tend to have more time to think about this concept than to apply it. At least this is what the majority of us think.
In the same amount of time spent thinking about how awesome it would be to have a fit body, people can achieve real results. All that needs to change is a willingness to add a few simple exercises into ones daily routine. Once in the swing of working out each day, the body becomes stronger and a natural progression occurs. From exercising in small increments, the body naturally becomes more energized and less exhausted. This is when adding time into an early morning work out becomes less of a challenge and more of a desire.
Incorporating Daily Exercise
People often find exercise unappealing because they are already juggling multiple responsibilities each day. Adding one more task to an overloaded agenda causes the brain to say, ” error system overload.” What is missing here though, is that exercise can be easily incorporated into a daily routine by starting out in small increments. An extra 20 minutes in the morning is not going to make or break someone’s day. In fact, by making the time to get up and move, people will start to feel better right away. By starting with exercise in small increments, exercise becomes something the body craves rather than something it feels sick thinking about. At this point, people usually start adding an extra 20 minutes to their routine because they start feeling more energized.
Below are a few exercises to try each morning upon waking:
Try a minimum of 20 repetitions for each.
Crunches – put hands behing the head, lift forward and then lean back as far as possible with feet on the ground.
Side Bends – put hands behind the head and bend from one side to the other.
Circular Lunges– Place feet together and keep back straight. Take one big step forward, lower body until right thigh is parallel to the floor and right shin is vertical. Move back into the starting position and repeat to the side, reverse and start again with a forward lunge.
Push ups – Position hands palms-down and shoulder with apart with toes curled upward. Raise yourself using your arms. It is okay to start with these against the wall
Squats – Keep feet shoulder width apart with a straight back. Slowly lower into a seated position but make sure your knees do not go over your toes. For beginners, do not lower all the way down until comfortable with the movement.
Working With Your Limitations
The aging process is unavoidable. As the body ages, new aches and pains tend to pop up. This is no reason to stop exercising though, and in fact, exercise is what the body needs to stay healthy.
By getting a little creative, it is easy to stay fit, even with some age-related limitations.
Below are some helpful tips for working with limitiations:
Never skip a warm up, especially before a vigorous portion of a workout. This allows your joints to ease into the routine and helps prevent injuries. Even taking a walk for 5 minutes to regulate blood flow to the muscles is better than no warm up at all.
This is a super important one for baby boomers.
Part of the aging process includes losing muscle mass. By the age of 50 muscle mass begins to decline at a more rapid rate. To elaborate, about a half pound of muscle mass can be lost each year at this stage. [source: Heilm]. By adding strength training to an exercise routine, baby boomers can combat this decline in muscle mass. The reason it is important to keep building muscle, is to improve mobility (prevents against falls) and to sharpen brainpower and reduce the risk of diabetes and osteoporosis.
Variety can be key to a successful exercise regimen. This is because doing the same work out can lead to an overuse of joints. Additionally, once the body gets used to a certain routine, progress slows down.
In order to prevent injury or overextension, make time for rest and recovery. Do not stop being active altogether for an entire day though! When muscles and joints are sore, taking a 20 minute walk around the block or stretching can be just what the doctor ordered for a rest day.
Enjoy What You Do
As mentioned earlier, people do not want to exercise because it seems like a daunting task. Adding a simple daily routine is one way to find exercise can be both doable and enjoyable but another is to find exercise routines that are fun to do!
When a person enjoys a particular exercise, it starts to become a hobby that naturally fits in with the weekly schedule. We always make time for what we enjoy, and believe it or not, exercise can make it onto this list too!
Some people find time flies during dance classes and others become so zen and strengthened after a yoga class that they cannot stop themselves from doing it regularly. Exercise not only releases endorphins, but it makes people feel better physically. This is because having a strong body feels good!
If baby boomers start with small daily goals, take proper precautions before working out and find a routine that is fun for them, it will lead to more strength, energy and overall better health and longevity.