After months of cold winter, the first signs of spring encourage new beginnings and getting outdoors to exercise might be on your list. If you haven’t been as active as you wanted this winter, be sure to try these easy tips to get back into exercise this spring!
1. Speak with Your Doctor:
If you haven’t been active for a while, check with your doctor. Get some guidelines for your body on where to start with your activity. This is especially important if you have heart disease or breathing issues. More times than not, you will get the all clear, but it’s always good to have some guidelines on where to start!
2. Set a Goal and Understand Your “Why”:
Let’s face it, the winter weather can cause hibernation and less activity. If you haven’t been regular with your exercise, you need to discover exactly why you want to get started again so you can stay consistent.
It’s not always going to be easy. There will be days where you don’t want to exercise. Don’t skip this step! Take a few minutes now to brainstorm or journal about why you really want to feel better.
Dig past those surface-level reasons and dig down to exactly how you would feel if you were in shape, what would you do, and how would your family feel.
Do you want to have the energy and stamina to take that bucket list vacation? Do you want to easily get up and down from the floor with your kids or grandkids? Are you getting ready to bend, lift, and kneel to prep your spring garden? Are you worried about the side effects of your blood pressure medicine?
When you take the time to understand your “why” and set a realistic goal, you can remind yourself to stay on track when times are tough.
3. Don’t Skip the Warm-up!
After age 50 it becomes essential to add a warm-up to your routine. Warming up increases your circulation, raises your heart rate and body temperature safely.
Not only does your cardiovascular system need the warm-up but your joints and muscles need a proper warm-up to prevent injury! A dynamic warm-up that includes motions that you will perform in your workout is best.
Try at least 5 minutes and include head turns, shoulder and arm circles, trunk rotation, high marches, butt kickers, side steps, and calf raises.
4. Vary Your Workouts!
To keep yourself motivated and keep your body injury-free, try to vary your workouts. Try a nature walk or hike one day, strength training your muscles to build strength and bone density another day, gentle yoga or balance exercises, swimming or biking, and golf or tennis for another day.
5. Start Light and Build Up!
When most people get back into exercise after a long hiatus, they are gung-ho and fired up! They want to reach their goals right away. But they forget their body is not warmed up and ready to be pushed to the max.
I’ve seen it time and time again where people end up injuring themselves by jumping into workouts too intense for their current health. Start slow and build from there. Step-by-step, day-by-day, you will thank yourself by staying consistent and seeing steady progress!
6. Get the Support You Need!
Starting back to exercise after a break, no matter how long, can be tough! Grab a buddy to keep each other motivated or try working with a personal trainer. Having the guidance and support of an experienced personal trainer can help you to stay committed and truly reach your goals!
About the Author:
Aubrey Reinmiller is a certified personal trainer, a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant, certified Senior Fitness Specialist, a Functional Aging Specialist, and author. She is the owner of Vitality Fitness and Wellness, a fitness studio helping those over 50 to reinvent aging! She offers online fitness solutions through www.AubreyReinmiller.com. Aubrey is the author of an Amazon Best Seller book, Reinvent Aging: The Over 50 Fitness Guide to Improve Energy, Strength and Balance.