“I’m too tired.” “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have the right equipment.” “It hurts my bones/muscles/brain.” The laundry list of excuses that all of us have for not exercising is seemingly never-ending and finding the time and motivation to stay active and fit is something that many of us struggle with.
Which is more than a little bit troubling because staying active is hands-down one of the best ways to achieve and maintain good health and mental wellbeing, ward off illness, and extend your time here on Earth – for people of all ages.
However, for Baby Boomers in particular (people born between mid-1946 and mid-1964, according to the Census Bureau), exercise is especially important due to the inevitable fact that as we age, we become more susceptible to illness and injuries – both of which can be minimized with consistent physical activity.
So, what can we do to solve this exercise conundrum?
Well, listening to the advice of a retired tennis pro, exercise advocate, and Baby Boomer alike, Chris Evert, is a good place to start!
Nearly three decades after retiring from the pro tennis circuit, Evert, 63, still remains in tip-top physical condition, even with her hectic schedule.
So, how does she do it?
Evert believes that they key to staying physically active well into your 60’s and beyond is to “develop a workout routine that fits your schedule and to engage in activities you enjoy.”
In addition to that, it’s also important to be realistic about your exercise goals.
It can be tough to accept the fact that as we age, we simply cannot exercise with the same intensity that we did in our younger years – but it’s a truth that even a fitness maven like Evert has had to come to terms with.
“I don’t train as hard or with the same intensity as I used to. You have to change and tweak your activities and exercise [routine] as you get older,” says Evert.
So, being realistic about your exercise goals, personalizing your routine, and engaging that activities that you enjoy are three of Evert’s top pieces of advice for Baby Boomers looking to add more physical activity to their lives.
When it comes to finding what physical activity works best for you, take some time to reflect on what you like, what makes you happy.
What do you enjoy doing? Do you like being outdoors in nature? Maybe hiking would be a good activity for you.
Are you a music lover? Maybe signing up for a dance class or a beginner’s aerobics class would suit your taste.
Perhaps you enjoy relaxing by the pool or beach and could incorporate swimming laps or water aerobics!
Luckily, the multitude of ways that we can stay physically active are as seemingly endless as the excuses that we have for not exercising – hiking, walking, biking, swimming, yoga, dance, weight lifting, stretching, aerobics… the list goes on and on.
It’s also important to find ways to adapt your exercise routine to fit in with your schedule. Evert has suggestions for those who are short on time, suggesting in US News, “You can watch the morning news while you stretch. You can put on a pair of running shoes and go for a 15-minute walk. You can lift hand-held weights or do push-ups while watching the news. I have an app for a 7-minute workout.”
It’s all about making your exercise work for you.
Exercise and physical activity are essential if you plan to live a long and healthy life, which I feel confident is something that we all hope to enjoy.
Aside from maintaining muscle tone and strength, boosting mental clarity, improving emotional stability, and a host of other benefits, “Folks who exercise routinely have up to a 50% lower risk of having a heart attack or chest pain, and they have a lower risk of other diseases as well. And, most importantly, people who exercise simply live longer than people who don’t,” says Rita Redberg, MD, a cardiologist from the University of California at San Francisco.
Bottom line – put down this article, get up, and get MOVING!
How do you stay physically active? What physical activities or exercise do you enjoy the most? What benefits have you noticed after adding exercise to your daily routine? Join the conversation below!
Tags Fitness Over 60