Well, if your not a “Baby Boomer” I think the correct naming convention is you’re a “Generation X”-er part of the crowd. That’s the name of the group of people that were born between 1961 to 81. A pretty expansive time gap, right? Well, what I’m getting at is if you fall within these guidelines, you should be paying pretty close attention to just what kind of shape you're in. After all, say you were born around 1981, that would make you about 37 years old. It's at this point in your life that your body is on a path as to how well it will perform as you begin to age. What I mean is, you may already be experiencing some early signs of physical problems, medical, joint and muscle performance, or lack thereof.
You’ve heard about, and probably have seen it time and time again on the news, or body makeover shows, that you need to take good care of your body so that it can take “good” care of you as you begin to age. And at this stage of your life, you need to really start paying attention.
One of the best things you can do for yourself so that your body won’t hold you back from doing the things you want to do when your 50-60-70 and beyond, is EXERCISE.
Exercise can enhance your energy levels, keep you at a healthy weight, and even possibly reduce some of the symptoms associated with aging. Exercise can be good for your brain and emotional state as well as your body. Whether you’re looking to maintain your current weight or to feel more energetic and healthy overall, there are numerous ways to stay active when you’re starting to approach the mid-point in your life.
Before you do anything, however, we recommend that you speak with your health practitioner prior to starting any new exercise routine or making changes to your current one. After all, the whole point in beginning a new healthy, exercise-driven lifestyle is to first make sure you’re in good enough shape to do so. By checking with your physician, you will know right away if there is anything that you need to be aware of prior to your starting to get more active.
A quote from a fitness trainer, Paula Todd, kind of sums up the main reason why you want to start being more active as you begin to age: “The most important benefit for seniors from exercise is that it can add years to your life, but it will also most certainly add life to your years.”!
Now you don’t have to run out and join a gym to start your new physical active lifestyle. But you could, we’re just saying there are other ways to go about it, and we are going to list a few right here:
Walking: Walking is by far the most popular low-impact exercise. It works the cardiovascular system and burns calories. To get your heart rate up, walk faster than a stroll. Picking up the pace can increase the intensity of your workouts. Add short bursts of speed or walk up an occasional steep hill. Using a good reliable pedometer like the Yamax SW-701 Digi-Walker Multi-Function Pedometer will allow you to monitor just how much you are walking and with this pedometer, it will show you the calories you burn and the distance your walking. Its been found that setting yourself a daily, weekly and monthly walking goal will help keep you motivated so that you can meet and then work on exceeding your walking goal as you progress. And having the right tools to track your progress like the Yamax-701 will do just that for you!
Cycling: Cycling is another low-impact activity. Cycling is an aerobic exercise that works your lower body and cardiovascular system. Start slowly and increase the length of your cycling sessions gradually.
But you can still injure yourself if you have the wrong size bike, or if the saddle and handlebars are at the wrong height. If you currently don’t own a bike but are interested in covering a bit more mileage then you would if you were walking, get some expert advice on what type of bike to purchase. Visit a reputable bike shop. The staff and owners will provide you with all you need in order to begin your cycling journey. And they will do this because, more likely than not, they ride as a hobby as well.
Most of the staff who work in like-establishments. that cater to various types of sports enthusiasts, also participates in a sport in which the store carries that equipment. So, take advantage of their knowledge and let them fit you with a bike that suits your needs. And if you plan on getting off the beaten path, once you’ve gotten used to your new ride, you may want to look into getting a touring bike computer. One like the Garmin Edge Touring Cycling Computer It's just like a car GPS except the routes and features are specifically optimized for bikes. It will guide you to your destination or tell you how far your ride around town was. With the Edge Touring, you will be sure you can find your way wherever you need to go.
Swimming: One of the best low-impact sports that will allow you to work your whole body at the same time is swimming! It's a great way to tone up and get trim. Swimming a few lengths involves most of the muscle groups, and you'll get a good aerobic workout if you increase the pace. Swimming can also help you lose weight if you swim at a steady and continuous pace throughout your session. With the weather finally starting to warm up, it won’t be too much longer until you can hit your favorite pool or better yet, a beach. But until that outside temp warms up that lake, or pond, or if you have access to a gym or YMCA that has pool facilities you can’t miss by getting your laps in under a controlled environment. And you don’t even have to be an expert swimmer. Most gym or “Y” facilities, offer water aerobics, where you can go through some vigorous exercising using the buoyancy of the water to make your movements easier on your joints and muscles. A lot easier than doing them on a hard surface!
And if you're looking to track just how many laps, aerobic aquatics, walking, running or doing sprints, I have a smartwatch that can do it all for you. Yep, one activity monitor that tracks just what you’re doing in and out of the water. You can even use it to pay for your smoothie after your done with your workout. It’s the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Smart Activity Tracker The Vívoactive 3 features Side Swipe interface for quick access to widgets and lists. It’s safe for swimming and has a battery life of up to 8 days. However, you like to play, it just fits.
So, there you have it. For those of us that are part of that “Generation X” group. We need to be aware that the clock is ticking and what we do now. “Fitness Wise” can impact just what we will be able to do in the next 20-30 years.
So, while the above is not exactly “HIIT or Cross Fit” training routines, we put them out there for a reason. Swimming, Walking and Cycling are “Low-Impact” fitness programs that ANYONE can do. If done properly, you can achieve a better, fitter body and don’t be surprised if your mental outlook on things starts to take an upward swing.
And why shouldn’t it? You’re finally doing something for yourself that will allow you to remain active, as that clock continues to tick-tock!