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May is National Physical Fitness Month, and what better way to celebrate it than to commit to getting more active? After all, as we age, it’s even more important for us to focus on keeping our bodies as physically active and as healthy as possible. Read on for some tips on doing just that:

Check With Your Doctor

Before starting any sort of new fitness regimen, even a minor one, be sure to get your doctor’s approval beforehand. Make sure your exercise routine fits your physical limitations and abilities, so you don’t risk injury. It’s also a good idea to have your heart and blood work checked, just to be sure all is okay.

Start Small

When you get your doctor’s okay, try the following ideas to start getting active, slowly:

  • While watching TV, do some leg lifts or easy stretches.
  • Walk around your neighborhood a few times daily at an easy pace.
  • For improved strength, lift small water bottles.
  • Take a water aerobics class, which is little to no impact on the joints, but does provide some anaerobic benefits.
  • Dance to the tune of your favorite music.

Set a Goal For Your Physical Activity Requirements

In general, aim for around 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Start small, with just 10 minutes of activity, then build up to 20 minutes of exercise daily. In order to achieve the most benefit, ensure your heart rate is increased enough to cause a bit of sweating and hard breathing. That means a walk should be fast paced enough to cause this to happen. You also need to include some muscle strengthening activities at least twice weekly. Some example of this include bowling, dancing or even brisk walking.  The idea is to challenge yourself a bit but not push yourself so hard you injure yourself.

Join a Gym, Sport’s Association, Fitness Club or Senior Center

One of the easiest ways for you to begin a regular and effective physical fitness regimen is to join a fitness club, gym, senior center or sport’s association that offers either personal training, classes or both. Many times, you can get advice from a trainer on particular exercises you can complete to strengthen certain areas of your body. They might also help you create a personalized fitness routine. The classes you can take will provide accountability, meaning you will be missed if you don’t show up. They are also a great way to stay motivated and not become bored with the same exercise routine. An added benefit of taking a class, especially at a senior center, can include making new friends, which will improve both your physical and emotional well-being.

Keeping fit is a great way to keep your body the best shape as possible, ensuring you stay mobile and healthy on up into your latter years. Although there is no guarantee you won’t still suffer health problems, keeping yourself active and strong through regular physical activity gives you a better chance of maintaining your health throughout your senior years. May, being the National Physical Fitness Month, is the perfect motivation for you to either start a new physical fitness regimen or improve upon your current one, leading to a healthier, happier life.