Senior Fall Fitness

Senior Fall Fitness-RunningThe fall season brings with it a multitude of changes. Leaves transform colors, the temperature dips, and we prepare for the start of the holidays.

In the rush of holiday business, it’s easy to forget or postpone your work out routine. Exercise tends to take a lower priority when you’re juggling family needs and busy schedules. In the midst of the new season, however, it’s important to pause and reconsider the benefits of adding a daily work-out to your routine.

Working out not only has physical benefits: it also serves as a great stress reliever!

Before we delve more deeply into the mental and emotional benefits of working out, however, let’s start off with an easy at-home workout. To many people, the idea of working out seems like too big of a commitment. The cooling temperatures make most of us want to stay at home and get comfortable! Fortunately, however, there are plenty of easy work-outs to do both inside and outside of the home. Most of these work outs can be done with little to no equipment, using only the resistance of your body to help keep your muscles active. Here, I’ll share with you an easy at home work out that you can fit in at any time during the day. However, it’s important to first learn some general rules of fitness.

First, before any work-out, remember that it’s important to warm-up and stretch. No matter how busy or distracted you may get, the warm-up remains the most important part of your exercise routine. Warm-ups prevent muscle strains and other injuries and prepare your body for exertion. Never, ever skip the warm-up. Warm-ups usually consist of some light cardio activities that will get your blood flowing and help get your heart-rate up to prepare for what comes next. Plan on spending the first five minutes of any work out in the warm up and an additional five minutes doing some light stretching.

Second, as always, the cardinal rule for every work out applies — do what you feel comfortable with. If for any reason you feel dizzy, short of breath, or in pain, stop your work-out.  This applies to every part of your work-out, especially stretching. People of all ages tend to think that the further they can push themselves while stretching, the better. Unfortunately, this is a myth. Pushing yourself too far in any stretch or activity can actually cause microscopic tears in your muscle tissue. When these tears are repaired, you’ll actually end up less flexible than before! Patience, as always, applies here. While it’s important to challenge yourself, never push yourself too hard.

Third, make sure you stay hydrated! Though we’ve all probably heard the “8 Glasses of Water a Day” rule, a better principle to follow is to listen to your body. If you’re starting to get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. I try to drink 2 liters of water a day minimum and add to that amount if I do a work out of any type.

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