The one thing none of us like to admit is that as we get older we can no longer do some of the same things we used to do when we were younger. As we age, we move a little slower, take longer to get motivated and have to work twice as hard to achieve the same results that came so easily to us when we were in our twenties and thirties. If you keep your mind and body sharp, it will make your transition into the “Golden Years” seamless.
Here are the five areas to focus on as you age:
Perhaps one of the first signs of age is that we tend to lose our footing a little more easily. Practicing balance exercises with a BOSU Ball or balance disc will assist you in preventing falls. Even if you don’t have a balance ball or disc, you can simply practice standing on your left foot for 15 seconds, pause for 15 seconds, then stand on your right foot for 15 seconds. If that is way too easy, increase the time duration. Make sure you are standing next to something you can grab on to in case you lose your balance. Also make sure that the object is heavy enough not to topple over when you grab it or if it’s lightweight, like a small bookcase, that it is securely anchored to the wall.
HAND AND EYE COORDINATION
Our reflexes slow down tremendously as the years tick away. Keeping up with hand-and-eye coordination exercises will keep you sharp and focused. The easiest exercise for this is a game of catch – just toss a ball back and forth with someone. Playing a sport like tennis, racquetball or pickle ball can assist you in keeping your coordination and concentration in check.
Believe it or not, getting involved in an exercise that causes you to sweat actually helps to increase your brain activity, thereby aiding you in fighting off dementia and Alzheimer’s. Although you may not like to sweat, getting in a rigorous enough workout to get those glands activated will provide many health benefits to you as senior years strike.
The one thing we all tend to forget about in our workout routines is strength training. Osteoporosis, arthritis and brittle bones can set in as the years add up, so keeping your bones and muscles strong is essential. Begin a weightlifting routine. And keep in mind that you don’t have to be a master lifter. You can start with weights as low as one-to-two pounds. Then increase the weights as needed.
Arched and humped backs can also begin to occur when we wind up slumping into later life. A very easy exercise to work on to improve your posture is to clasp your hands behind your back, stand up straight and go for a walk, leaving your hands behind your back the entire time. Sitting on an exercise ball while watching television or working on your computer are both great ways to not only work on your posture but also your balance at the same time.
No one likes to get older. But if you focus on these five areas as you age, you will remain forever fit.
By Bryan Lee
Bryan Lee is a National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) certified personal trainer, life coach and author who has lost over 130 pounds. Please check with your personal physician before using these health and fitness tips.