(Please consult a doctor before adopting any of the methods or techniques suggested in this blogpost)
Fitness has immense health benefits and everyone knows it. You are a new you once you start. Oh my, the dreaded word “start” and another one “fitness” in the same sentence! Scary! The thought of exercise brings about a mind-block to many people. One wonders why? Is it because most people think fitness is serious, it must be at least 45 minutes long, it has to work out all parts of the body or concentrate heavily on a few parts, if it’s cardio it has to be a certain length of time where you lose a certain number of calories! Phew, sounds serious indeed! Just the thought of it makes one shudder and think of what’s next on TV or about that video you wanted to watch on YouTube. Let’s postpone fitness to another day when I am more motivated! Guess what? First fitness can be light, short and a lot of fun and one more thing – you are most likely not going to be motivated enough to continue fitness when you search for motivation! Let’s not make something dependent on motivation. Let’s try to make it a habit!
The best way to go about it is to
Make it easy to start and Make it fun to do
Now if I challenge you to walk 5000 steps at least 3 times a week this month would you be sure you to do it? Maybe or maybe not. You may have the confidence to do it but are you going to be motivated to do it? Maybe not! What if I told you to wear your exercise clothes and shoes at least 3 times a week for this month and go to the place of your exercise for 10 minutes. This is a challenge! Would you be able to do it? I think you would ace it! Easy! Done! Now whether you exercise or not is up to you as it is not even part of the challenge. Remember, the challenge is not for you to walk 5000 steps 12 times this month. The challenge is to only wear your fitness clothes and be at your place of exercise for 5 minutes, twelve times this month. What would your obstacles be for this? Maybe you must buy another pair of exercise clothes or two. Maybe your exercise clothes are your normal clothes in which case you do not have to buy clothes too. Perfectly fine! Keeping the clothes ready is the obstacle. Try this challenge and please do reply in the comment section of this blogpost. If you have exercised all your life and are not regular nowadays, the same challenge applies to you.
One question arises! “What would happen if we do this?” the answer is you are most likely to exercise a bit on all days. Again, the trick is to only keep the challenge in mind and not the fitness part of it. Hopefully in the long run, you develop a habit of some sort which involves fitness.
This is one of the best methods to start working on your goals where you make the challenge easy and unique, which invariably will lead you to start on your journey.
Pro tip: Have an accountability partner who you must give Rs.10 every time you don’t complete the easy challenge!
One shouldn’t suffer through the process. One should do what one’s body allows one to do. The process or activity of fitness should not be resentful to do. Now you may enjoy the difficulty of it which is absolutely fine, however do not make it resentful for you.
Lets look at dance as a form of fitness. Dancing has great benefits for seniors including an increase in endorphins which is the happy drug of the body. There are several dance routines available on the net. There are 20 minutes routines which are great for elders. Check out one example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6lsGDntAEM by a popular channel for fitness for elders
Chair Yoga: Just performing a few yoga poses from the comfort of your chair for 15 minutes can bring a number of benefits for seniors. Some of the best chair yoga poses are the overhead stretch, seated cat stretch, seated mountain pose and seated twist. Check out the link at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DYH5ud3zHo by independent yoga instructors
Some simple body weight workouts for elders are classics and proven for decades to give many benefits. Both upper body and lower body routines are to be included. Please check the link from the national institute of aging USA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev6yE55kYGw
Fitness has immense benefits from improving your cardiovascular strength to improving functions of the brain to improving mood. Its overall benefits cannot be ignored by us at any age, let alone our senior years.