National Physical Fitness and Sports Month began in 1956 with President Eisenhower’s Council on Youth Fitness. The Council was created as a means to improve the physicality of children and has since expanded over the last six decades to become the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition. The mission of the Council is to engage, educate and empower Americans of every age and ability to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes both good nutrition and regular physical activity.
In 1983, during President Reagan’s administration, May was proclaimed National Physical Fitness and Health Month. The vision of this important month is to ensure all Americans are leading healthy lives, armed with the knowledge about the benefits of exercise, fitness, wellness and good nutrition.
Exercise is important for both the young and old, and as summer approaches, you might find you are more enticed to get outside for some physical activities. Walking, biking, swimming and more can all provide health benefits that improve your quality of life. You’ll feel stronger, your heart will be healthier, you’ll boost your mood, your balance will improve, and you’ll even be at less risk for chronic conditions and diseases.
No matter your current abilities, it’s possible to find a form of exercise that gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing. For seniors, exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to achieve all the benefits mentioned above; in fact, older adults can obtain those benefits with just a moderate amount of daily activity.
Help preserve your independence by getting physical this National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Here are the tips to keep in mind as you head down a path to a healthier lifestyle:
Visit your doctor to get a physical. It’s important to consult your physician before beginning any type of senior fitness program. This way, you can discuss your exercise goals and go over any possible conditions that may affect your participation, such as the current medications you’re taking, any heart or joint issues, and more.
Determine your fitness goal. After visiting your physician, decide what it is you’re out to accomplish. In other words, determine your fitness goal to keep you motivated and to ensure you maintain your daily routine. Instead of just declaring that you’d like to lose weight, for instance, specify exactly how many pounds or inches you’d like to lose. As you hit your goals, make sure to reward yourself by allowing for a special treat or a small purchase.
Look for an activity you will enjoy daily. If walking or jogging is hard on your joints, it’s not reasonable to think these are physical activities you’ll be motivated to complete every day. Plus, they may even aggravate your condition further. Swimming laps and water aerobics, for instance, are great cardiovascular exercises that are easy on the joints. Maybe you’re looking for a walking club where you can also make new friends and engage with others, or perhaps chair exercise classes are more your speed. Try a few different activities until you find the one you’ll look forward to spending 30 minutes a day on, every day.
Don’t rush it. Starting any senior fitness program is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s important to know your body’s limits to prevent an injury that could lead to even more inactivity. If you’re just getting started, begin exercising in 10-minute increments, and work your way up to the recommended 30 minutes a day. Pace yourself and only do what your body is comfortable doing.
It’s never too late to improve your physical fitness and enjoy a higher quality of life! At Advent Christian Village, members and those living in the area enjoy access to a variety of health and fitness programs at Copeland Community Center. Seniors of all lifestyles and fitness levels can enjoy the heated swimming pool and spa, tennis courts, strength-building equipment, and more. Plus, a professionally-trained staff is available to personalize a fitness program that meets individual goals and needs. Contact us today to learn more about the vibrant lifestyle offered about our senior living community in north Florida.