You hear it all the time… exercise is good for you. It is important for your physical, mental and emotional health. It makes you stronger, improves balance, controls weight and can boost your energy and your mood. Research shows exercise can ward off disease, reduce the symptoms of chronic illness and possibly even extend your life expectancy. These are all good reasons to exercise!
However, logic and compelling arguments don’t necessarily add up to incentive for seniors who may be contending with the aches and pains of arthritis and experiencing diminishing strength, energy and appetite.
If this is you, don’t despair. Exercise doesn’t have to be all or nothing; there are reasonable alternatives in between. Here’s an approach that might work for you.
Reframe it! With a goal of working up to a feasible (age recommended) exercise regime for yourself, start by reframing the concept of exercise in your mind. Replace the word ‘exercise’ with the word ‘activity’, and consider all the areas of your daily routine that already include activity. You’d be surprised to learn that all kinds of daily chores and rituals are actually varying degrees of exercise… in disguise.
Any activity that involves movement and doesn’t hurt or stress your joints is likely good for you! Begin by maximizing what you already do, and then, with your doctor’s consent, consider incorporating a few more activities. Remember, there are many ways to be active. Give yourself a pat on the back and keep on moving!