For some of us, being active is easier said than done. Sure, we might be able to push ourselves to be more active for a little while, although sticking to it is another story. But there are so many benefits to staying active, especially as you age.
An active lifestyle can help with:
- Reducing Stress
- Increasing Self-Confidence
- Strengthening Your Memory
- Reducing Cognitive Decline
- Supporting a Healthy Weight
- Combating Disease
- Increasing Your Energy
- Improving Sleep
So why wouldn’t you want to get started?
To help you get motivated, we’ve created this list of proven tips that will allow you to stay more active as a part of a healthy lifestyle. After all, you want to spend your best years engaging with your loved ones every step of the way, not sitting on the sidelines.
So look no further for 5 tips for maintaining an active lifestyle and improving your health for you and your family!
1. Choose to Walk
When it comes down to it, walking is just about the healthiest activity we can do. The fact that it’s also one of the easiest activities we can do makes it that much better. So if all you do is walk more, you’re taking a big step in the right direction! First of all, whenever you get a chance to get outside and take a walk around the block, do it! If you don’t have anything else to do, get outside and get some fresh air a few times a day. A 10-minute walk around the block can turn into a very healthy habit. Think about the short local trips that you take. Could you walk to those destinations rather than drive? If you’re heading to visit a friend on the other side of your neighborhood, take the opportunity to walk for 20 minutes each way rather than drive for 2. In other words, leave the car in the garage once in a while and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Maybe even grab a neighbor to walk with you! You can also endeavor to park farther away from the stores you visit and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Find opportunities to walk and you’ll find that it can really add up to some serious health benefits.
2. Find a Partner or Group
Much like asking a neighbor to take a walk with you, try and find a partner or group for activities. Not only does it make it more enjoyable, but they can hold you accountable. You’re less likely to skip an exercise class or hike up the mountain if you have committed to doing so with someone else. Sure, you may never actually put on that Zumba DVD your daughter gave you while you’re at home, but it’s not hard to find a class full of like-minded (and similarly aged) women that will encourage you to do your best while they do the same. And you’d be far more likely to head back for another class with that kind of camaraderie and support. Gentlemen, that example was for the ladies but you get the picture. Find a walking buddy, a golf partner, or a friend to hit the gym with 3 days a week so you can catch up and live a more active lifestyle at the same time. Taking the dog for a daily walk could be a great way to make your dog very happy and allow you to lead a more active lifestyle at the same time. (Don’t have a dog? Borrow one from a neighbor or one of your children!)
3. Schedule Regular Activities
If you plan activities throughout the week you’ll be far more likely to do them. Fitness classes at your local gym or rec center are a great way to stick to a regular activity routine without the pressure of creating your own schedule. If you’re up for the challenge, schedule 3 walks around the local park or lake with your spouse each week. Go explore new places you’ve never been that get you walking around and sightseeing a bit. Make plans and you’ll be far more likely to stick to your active lifestyle!
4. Set Goals
One of the best ways to stick to an active lifestyle is by setting goals. They could be as simple as walking around the block every day with your grandchildren, losing 10 pounds in the next 3 months, or eating a salad (or green smoothie, etc.) 5 days a week. The point is to know what you want to accomplish from your healthy lifestyle so you can take the steps necessary to do so. Write your goals down and stick them on the fridge or bathroom mirror so they remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing and to motivate you to keep up the good work.
5. Fit It In
You may have lots of other things going on in your life and assume that means you don’t have time to lead an active lifestyle. That’s just not so! Let’s say you have 5 minutes to do some sets of jumping jacks in the morning, 5 more minutes to climb the stairs you pass on your way from another engagement, and 10 minutes to walk around the block before or after dinner. You’ll have burned some extra calories, gotten your heart rate elevated, and exercised your muscles three times that day and your body will be much better for it! Your active lifestyle doesn’t have to mean making major changes to your current routine. Fit it in where you can and you’ll be taking small steps to accomplishing your goals throughout the day.