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Insider’s Guide to Staying Active Over 60

Forget surviving your Golden Years, try thriving in them! As Frank Lloyd Wright said, “The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.” Boost your quality of life, reap infinite health benefits, and dive into staying active as a senior with this quick insider’s guide:

Find your passion

Discovering new passions and interests is even more fun as a senior. Not only do your years of experience and practiced self-awareness make you more confident to try new things, but the benefits of exploration and exercise are even more impactful the older you get. When staying active becomes a priority for you, marrying it with things you truly love to do will motivate you even more to make it a “regular thing.”

  • Love to cook? Whip up a meal for a friend or neighbor and then sign up to participate in a charity walkathon that benefits an anti-hunger organization in your town.

  • Have a competitive streak? Pushing yourself with heart-pumping activities like tennis, bicycling, swimming, golfing and dancing are just the ticket.

  • Seeking inner peace? You’ll love the flowing movements and meditative relaxation of yoga - beginner’s classes for seniors include gentle yoga, chair yoga, restorative yoga, and water yoga.

  • Fond of the outdoors? Find moderate, low-impact hiking trails near you or join a community garden that will have you digging, planting, and harvesting year round.

  • Passionate about politics? Get fired up and get out the house by attending rallies, marches, and forums that fuel your civic activism hunger.

  • Want to help others? Give back and help others by volunteering regularly at the local food bank, animal shelter, hospital, or charity re-store.

  • Excited about continuing your education? Check to see if your state offers free or subsidized educational programs for senior citizens to take non-degree college level classes.

Stick to a schedule

The benefits of staying active and exercising are most greatly seen when they are repeated components of your daily and weekly schedule. Research shows that regular exercise staves off heart disease, reduces cancer risks, lowers high blood pressure, fights weight gain and diabetes, combats cognitive decline, and even alleviates back pain and symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Your schedule for staying active can be as simple as taking a brisk 20-minute walk each day at the same time or planning a fitness date with a friend each week. Prioritizing staying active by making it an “absolute” on your calendar rather than a “maybe” is your first step to forming a new healthy habit!

Connect with others

So you know what you want to do, but how do you go about finding a class or group to do it with? The social aspect of interacting with others when you take part in activities and exercise helps combat loneliness and social isolation, which often accompany old age. Use online tools and local groups to build your activity support network:

  • Check out your local senior center, YMCA or YWCA to see what free and discounted classes are offered like gentle yoga, Zumba or water aerobics.

  • Livestream fitness and yoga instructional videos from the comfort of your own home using your computer, mobile device or smartTV - try Youtube.com and Amazon Video.

  • Browse Meetup.com to find groups of seniors who share your passions and interests in your area and get together regularly for activities and events.

  • Find local volunteer opportunities near you with services like CreatetheGood.org and Volunteermatch.org - search by zip code, interest, and more.

Staying active doesn’t have to mean unending physical exercise all the time either. Stimulating brain function and memory through games, puzzles, reading, and even coloring is vital activity your mind and body yearn for, especially as you age. Bonus tip: Keep adult coloring books and puzzles on hand for lazy rainy days inside, or download Scrabble and Sudoku apps to your computer or tablet to play whenever you feel like it!

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