The older we get, the more important it is to have a regular exercise program. Exercise helps to:
- Increase energy and release endorphins, reducing stress to feel better overall,
- Decrease joint pain by strengthening muscles, ligaments and tendons to reduce pressure at joints. Exercise also lubricates joints by increasing synovial fluid production.
- Increase brain function and cognitive function with moderately intense exercise, improving thinking and memory. Increased blood flow also helps rid the brain of stress chemicals.
- Maintain a healthier heart & body – Increased blood flow from exercise also works to augment immune function, stamina, strength and HDL (good Cholesterol).
- Manage blood sugar and associated symptoms.
We have all heard this. Studies have proven it. Exercise produces positive health benefits. It improves physical and mental health and is instrumental in maintaining independence. In spite of this, interest in working out can wane. People can become bored, busy or tired. How does one maintain motivation to exercise?
A flexible mindset and goals that are realistic and achievable help to ensure manageable workouts that you will stick with. Also, find an exercise that you love and is fun, not a chore. Make it part of your daily routine; track progress; use ergogenic aids.
An ergogenic aid is the use of a technique or substance intended to enhance physical performance. Examples of ergogenic aids would be working out to music / TV, ingestion of a dietary supplement such as caffeine or using technical gear/clothing designed to enhance performance. Include a pre and post workout nosh.
Mini sessions can help with staying with your exercise program, too. Break the workout into shorter bursts of activity, maybe 10 or 15 minutes at a time rather 45 minutes all at once.
Most importantly, REWARD YOURSELF. Pat yourself on the back upon achievement of your goal. Buy a new outfit or shoes or music; take that vacation. As your exercise routine progresses it will become a habit. Train your brain so that the workout itself becomes the reward!
Don’t forget to be flexible though. Go easy, take a break, when needed. But get back on track ASAP. Make it fun. Include aerobic, strength (resistance) and flexibility training in your routines. Find joy in exercise. Pursue activities you like. It does not have to be at the gym. Housework / yardwork count as exercise!
Cardio & strength workouts increase immunity, heart health, balance and coordination while decreasing bone loss and arthritis pain.