Fitness for Older Kiwis
You know that exercise and fitness is important for your health, and also for your happiness, but what if it isn’t easy? There are different stages of life that sometimes provide obstacles to exercise – getting older is one such time of life where exercise and fitness maybe isn’t a priority or easy to access. Just because it isn’t easy to get moving, doesn’t mean you can’t work within your abilities to get your heart pumping and the happy hormones of exercise flowing! You just need to keep in mind that there are lots of ways to get exercise that don’t involve running marathons.
If you are an older Kiwi and you don’t have an exercise routine, it isn’t too late or too difficult to get started. Remember that there are lots of low impact ways to get moving. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. You don’t have to walk far, just often. A good way to get started is to begin with walking a lap of the yard, or the block. Once you are doing this easily, make it two laps, or two blocks. You can gradually build up to a 20 or 30 minute walk without really noticing that you are getting better.
There are also lots of community centres and clubs that provide low impact or water-based classes tailored to older people. The real benefits of this form of exercise is not only the fact that you are getting a workout, but also it is a great chance to develop important social networks. So there is a double benefit – the exercise will make you healthier and the friendships will make you happier!
If you find yourself loving your exercise so much that it gets your competitive juices flowing, maybe masters sports is for you. There are competitions for older people in everything from athletics to swimming to rugby, soccer and netball. Just because you are older, doesn’t mean you can’t test your skills! Your local sport and recreation office will be able to assist you with how to join.
Have fun! Remember to check with your doctor or health professional before changing your exercise routine or embarking on a new one.