Active Seniors

Beginning an exercise program

The new year heralds fitness and exercise goals for many people, however there are important considerations to be aware of when starting a new exercise program.

Remember that an exercise program needs to be based on you, your strengths, your weaknesses and your goals.

What may be suitable for you to do in an exercise program may not be appropriate for the person next to you who has been exercising five days a week for the past eight years or the person on the other side who has osteoporosis and has just had a knee replacement.

How much should I do?

When it comes to exercise you should try to do at least a small program on all or at least most days of the week. It is important that you listen to your body when performing exercises to see if you can do a little more, a little less or need to stop. General recommendations suggest completing 30 mins of moderate exercise a day. This may sound like a lot to a beginner and if you feel that it is too much initially (and if you haven’t been doing regular exercise it may well be) don’t worry as you can spread the 30mins into three 10 minute intervals throughout the day and still get the benefits while working your way up. Completing your goal of 30 mins of exercise a day can become more achievable and sustainable as it begins to become a part of your daily routine which is important as at this time of year we can set our commitment too high and try to dedicate more time than is realistic. We can also set our goals too high so try to make them specific. As the days and weeks go on you may feel like you can complete a bit more and gradual progression is the key to improvement.

What should I do?

As a senior it is important that we try to include regular exercise from four main categories:

  • Cardiovascular Exercise
  • Strengthening Exercise
  • Balance Exercises
  • Flexibility Exercises

Start slowly and progress

It is more realistic and sustainable and you will get the most out of your exercise programs this way. Remember it is not uncommon to be a little bit sore for the next 24-48 hours after initiating an exercise program as you will be completing movements that your body may not have completed for a very long time, but the body will adapt and you will got stronger.

Consult a professional

These tips will help you achieve your exercise goals in a sustainable way and will help pave the way to feeling great and having better health this year! As always consult an exercise professional to ensure your program is safe, effective and will deliver you the results you want.

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