The Body After 60: Overcoming Barriers to Exercise
While we often associate exercise with physical gains, it's important to recognize the remarkable impact it can have on mental and emotional well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercise can do wonders for your mood and mental health by helping to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
Perhaps more impressively, exercise can also enhance your memory, attention, and creativity. But even with all the benefits exercise has to offer, adults over the age of 60 typically take part in half the amount of exercise as their middle-aged counterparts, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
So, what are the barriers preventing seniors from getting the exercise they need? Today we look at the three highest exercise hurdles seniors face and how to overcome them.
Lack of Time:
The clock seems to speed up as we age, leaving us grappling for extra minutes in the day. Fortunately, exercise doesn't always require lengthy sessions at the gym. Instead, focus on incorporating physical activity into your daily routine. For example, take a brisk walk during your lunch break or engage in some gentle stretching before starting your day. Remember, small bursts of activity can accumulate to create a meaningful impact on your overall fitness.
Pain and Discomfort:
Most of us will feel the inevitable aches and pains that accompany the passage of time. It's no secret that joint stiffness and muscle soreness can hinder our exercise endeavors. However, it's important to remember that motion is lotion for the body. Gentle exercises like yoga, swimming, or cycling can offer low-impact alternatives, minimizing strain on joints while keeping you active.
Lack of Social Support:
Exercising alone can sometimes feel like embarking on a solitary adventure. However, the power of exercising in a group can make all the difference. Reach out to friends, family, or even local community centers to find exercise buddies who share your goals and interests. Joining a group fitness class or engaging in outdoor activities with like-minded individuals not only fosters a sense of camaraderie but also provides the necessary motivation to keep pushing forward.
Exercise holds the key to unlocking a world of physical and mental well-being for individuals aged 60 and above. By acknowledging and addressing common barriers such as lack of time, pain and discomfort, and lack of social support, we can overcome these obstacles and embrace an active lifestyle.
Of course, every journey begins with taking the first step. So, kick-start your exercise regime by taking one step at a time. Remember, age is just a number, and with the power of exercise, the best is yet to come!
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