It’s not just our abilities that define us but our choices too. It’s wise to choose to stay fit and live a healthy life. Those who are living a sedentary life should start by including basic physical activities in their daily lives. It can be as simple as choosing to commute via walking or cycling, doing activities like dancing, gardening, sports, household chores, and other leisure time activities, or getting involved in community activities.
Age is not a bar for exercising; all you need to do is follow specific guidelines. Here are some tips that will help you get started the right way:
1. Always start the exercise with a warm-up session and end with a cool-down session.
A good warm-up prepares the body for intense activity and helps in preventing injuries by dilating the blood vessels, ensuring enough supply of oxygen to the muscles for optimal performance. Warm-up exercises should include a set of multiple stretches for both the upper and the lower body.
Cool-down is necessary after every workout session. 5-10 minutes of walk, stretches and relaxation breathing gives time for body temperature, respiration, and heart rate to return to baseline.
2. There should be a balance between moderate and vigorous-intensity activity. This should be with a mix of aerobic endurance, muscle strengthening, flexibility, balance and agility.
You can perform moderate-intensity, aerobic (endurance) physical activity for a minimum of 30 mins on five days each week or vigorous-intensity, aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 mins on three days each week.
We should indulge in muscle strengthening on at least two non-consecutive days a week. Initially, keep the focus on muscle endurance, followed by muscle strengthening, involving major muscle groups of the body.
Similarly, we should include flexibility, proprioception, and agility in our regime for at least 10 minutes a day for two days a week.
3. Breaking the monotony is necessary.
Choose your own days of rest and workout.
Space the workout with alternate days of aerobic and muscle-strengthening, squeezing in flexibility, balance and agility in between.
OTHER QUICK TIPS
Elderly individuals should focus more on gait and balance training to fight any age-related musculoskeletal issues.
Rest for 1-2 days every week is necessary to prevent overtraining and maintaining good harmony between your body and mind.
Exercising regularly will keep us fit, reduce unhealthy weight gain, and keep lifestyle diseases at bay.