Exercise is one of those words that can strike fear into people. As you get older, consider retirement, or continue working, your health is the bedrock of success. Without a foundation of health and well-being, aging and retirement will be fraught with expense, stress and uncertainty. The good news is that improving your health is possible at any age. No great achievement happens without small steps and exercise is no exception.
The research on aging and the importance of exercise is overwhelming. One way to make the concept of exercise more accessible is to consider MOVEMENT. Movement of any kind is important, whether it is in the garden, playing with the grandkids or walking a distance from your car to the store. Let’s take a look at why exercise is so important.
Most people are overwhelmed by the thought of incorporating exercise into their lives. The adage “start low and go slow” is a good place to start. This will reduce the chance of injury and improve your chances of staying with it. Check with your physician to make sure you there are no medical precautions to consider
Start with something you like.
If you don’t enjoy aerobic classes, don’t do them! Pick one or more activities that appeal to you.
Most senior centers, recreation centers and gyms have exercise classes focused on older adults. This is a great way to get off on the right foot with trained instructors who won’t push too hard.
Consider a personal trainer.
If funds allow, hiring a qualified personal trainer can be a life saver. They can tailor exercises to someone’s specific needs. But expect to pay between $50 and $100 an hour or more depending on where you live. If you live near a university, they will often offer student personal trainers at a reduced cost.
Walks are a valuable and simple way to incorporate movement into your life. Try to walk every day, even if it means parking farther away to get some steps in.
Consider a Fitbit or Apple Watch.
Some people like to keep track of their activity. There are several options that can keep you motivated and on track.
If you prefer the privacy of your own home, start with a beginner exercise video. For people with physical limitations, there are numerous options for chair exercises.
Who has the time to start a program when you are working, a caregiver or a parent? The simple answer: make time. Exercise is that important. Even 15-30 minutes a day is a good goal. This may mean asking for help with the endless tasks of life in order to find time for yourself or someone else. Let your family know that this is now your “part-time job” and you will need their support.
The unfamiliarity of exercise can make the prospect seem overwhelming. As with anything else in life, tackle this problem acknowledging that you will be uncomfortable. It will pass as you become more familiar. Ask for help from friends who exercise or staff at the gym.
Gym memberships can be expensive. United Medicare Advantage plans have discontinued their gym membership benefit. But most Medicare plans have not. County recreation centers are very affordable. Try a video. Anne Pringle Burnell is widely respected for her exercises tailored to older adults or people just getting started. Take a look at her collection here. Consider that the financial investment that you make is part of your retirement plan. The money you spend now could potentially save you thousands later.
Everyone has challenges with motivation. Even the most seasoned athletes. Beginning an exercise routine takes hard work, perseverance and commitment. It means doing something even when you don’t feel like it. Schedule your workouts in your day planner or phone. Set an alert. Read empowering articles about the benefits of exercise to help keep you motivated.
Good health is the foundation of a successful, productive and happy life. Planning for the future means making changes starting today. Exercise, diet, purpose and social engagement are the building blocks of good health. Start your movement today and you will be well on your way to a better future.
An Alliance America financial advisor can assist you in maximizing your retirement resources and help achieve your retirement goals. Alliance America’s planning process is focused on personalized retirement income planning. As fiduciaries, our advisors are required to act in your best interest, and we are dedicated to helping you achieve the retirement lifestyle you seek. You can request a no-obligation consultation by calling 888-864-2542 today.