Kari Arkens is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s of Science-Kinesiology. She has been a Health and Wellness Professional with the YMCA of the Fox Cities for 11 years. She is an Active Older Adult Fitness Instructor-Zumba, Zumba Gold, and Chair Exercise. Contact Kari at [email protected]
Exercise is a key component of living a healthy lifestyle at all ages. Whether you are an adolescent, conditioning for a high school sport or a newly retired grandpa who wants more energy to play with his grandkids, exercise plays a vital role in the end result. Depending upon your age and lifestyle goals, your exercise regime will look different from others, and will continue to change as we get older and the needs of our bodies change.
As people age, their reasons for exercising may change. One of the most common reasons people start an exercise program later in life is because they have noticed that their body doesn’t “feel” the same way it did when they were in their 30s and 40s. Perhaps the same daily routine is now starting to feel uncomfortable at times and they want to gain that strength back to continue to live independently for a very long time. It is very common for people, as they age, to start feeling aches and pains during the regular activities of daily living that they have done for as long as they can remember. This can be frustrating for many, but the good news is that all people go through it at some point. A regular exercise program can help overcome those obstacles.
Another reason people turn to an exercise program as they age is that it can be a social opportunity to meet others and form friendships. The experience of forming friendships and strong bonds through participating in the same fitness class or walking on the treadmill alongside another person. Social connections with people who also want to be active has a positive impact because it makes people more accountable in their program. Oftentimes, the friendships formed through exercise will lead into even more social opportunities and programs.
Perhaps one of the most familiar reasons people start an exercise program is because their doctor told them to. Those who follow this advice should experience the many benefits of regular exercise including: weight control, combating common health conditions, boosting energy, improving mood, providing social opportunity and building confidence.
Regardless of the reason people choose to exercise, many places have professionals on hand to help guide people through a successful wellness journey. After consulting with your doctor, people of all ages should feel encouraged to try various types of exercise that meet your individual needs. Exercise should be fun and it should feel good.
Consult with a wellness professional to make sure you are making good choices. Whether you’re participating in a Zumba Gold class, swimming laps in the pool, or practicing yoga three days a week, you are well on your way to living a healthy lifestyle. Making time for yourself, and loving yourself enough to choose a healthy lifestyle, is the best medicine we can give ourselves at any age.