According to Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., “baby boomers led an unprecedented fitness revolution, into a kind of golden era of health.” If you’re a baby boomer like me, this comes as no surprise. We experienced a fitness frenzy unlike anything the world had ever seen. Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D. inspired millions to exercise with his best-selling book Aerobics. Jack LaLane, “The Godfather of Modern Fitness,” used television to show the world the magic of exercise and a healthy diet. You can’t forget about Jane Fonda. She revolutionized the fitness industry by essentially creating the original at-home workout on VHS.
Yes, we took the world by storm with our toned arms and tight stomachs… but where has the time gone? Sometimes it feels like true fitness has taken a backseat to fad diets and plastic surgery fixes. I don’t know about you, but I’m an all-natural girl. I’d rather put in the work than visit a doctor to have work done (yikes!)
As a woman in her fifties, I’ve realized that the best way to achieve a healthy, sustainable lifestyle is to go back to the basics. The simple exercises we learned in gym class (many of them based in Aerobics) are some of the best and most effective. Programs that include push-ups, jumping jacks, squat-thrusts (now known more commonly as “Burpees”) and just fast walking and/or jogging. These are simple exercises that can be incorporated into your daily schedule. These exercises require zero equipment and can be done almost anywhere.
The most important thing, and what greatly helped my fitness journey, was realizing that we need to think of fitness like we think of brushing our teeth, sleeping, or even eating. These are all things we do each day to maintain our body and our overall well-being. This is how we need to think of fitness, as something that is a daily requirement in order to maintain the health of our body and its’ overall well-being. Fitness is a journey! We just need to take the first step.
You should join my fitness journey, even if you are perfectly satisfied with your current health. Why? Because exercise is your ticket to the fountain of youth! Don’t believe me? Read how exercise promotes healthy, glowing skin. You will be amazed at the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise, and the results are much better than any cream or serum you can buy.
Don’t make fitness a New Year’s resolution this year. Instead, resolve that every day is New Year’s Day and re-start your commitment to a fit and healthy lifestyle every morning!
Five No-Excuses Ways to Stay Fit!
- Make Fitness a Group Activity – Join a group exercise program made up of friends or like-minded participants. An activity that you used to dread just became a fun social gathering!
There are so many programs (spin classes, Zumba, Barre, or even dragon boating) that make exercising with a group fun. If you are an individual, joining a group class that peeks your interests (kick-boxing, martial arts, fencing, et al.) is a great way to ensure you’ll find a program that you’ll be inspired to make a regular part of your life.
- What Time Works Best for You? – Join a group that exercises when it’s most convenient for your schedule. Early in the morning works well to combat that “I’m too tired now” excuse at the end of the day.
If the morning is the only time you have to workout, but you don’t want to elevate your heart rate before you’ve had a chance to elevate your caffeine level – try yoga! Yoga is a great way to start the day both mentally and physically. Click here to read more about the benefits of yoga for older adults.
- Get Creative – Create your own program that you can accomplish in a short amount of time no matter where you are.
Here’s an example of a pyramid workout that you can achieve in a half hour anywhere, no equipment required:
- 100 jumping jacks
- 90-second plank
- 80 run in place (high knees)
- 70-second laying on back holding feet “six-inches” above the ground
- 60 mountain climbers
- 50 ab of choice
- 40 squats
- 30 ab of choice
- 20 push-ups
- Then reverse up to 100
Want to workout at home, but not sure you’re ready to take on a pyramid program? Try these 7 must-do exercises for older adults and seniors – but don’t be fooled by the word senior! These exercises improve flexibility, increase muscle tone, and can be done any time, any place.
- Be Prepared – Carry extra workout clothes and shoes with you in your bag or commuting vehicle so that you can fit in a workout during unexpected time slots.
- Exercise All Day – Make ordinary daily activities an exercise opportunity. Take the stairs. Park in the furthest away spot. Walk fast, don’t stroll. March in place in front of your desk or do yoga stances while listening to a webinar in your office.
If you’re anything like me, starting your fitness journey will be the hardest part. Persevere, it will be worth it.
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