By Jasmine Young, Wellness Specialist at The Connection at Twin Towers
Not everyone enjoys exercising. When I was younger, I found an interest in Zumba. I never considered it to be exercise because it was too much fun. Exercise couldn’t be that much fun, could it?
Yet, as I continued taking Zumba classes at home with my mom, I discovered my well-being improved. The light bulb clicked on for me, and I realized that what I thought I was doing for fun was actually strengthening and improving my overall health and athletics. Zumba was exercise, it was making a difference in my strength and agility, and it was fun!
That began my interest in studying exercise science and continues to fuel my desire to make fitness fun for the active seniors I coach today at The Connection at Twin Towers.
4 Tips to Put the Fun in Senior Fitness
- Join an exercise class. Yoga, Zumba, aerobic and strength training are among the variety of fitness classes that are offered in a group format that can be both beneficial and fun. Many people benefit from a group class for a variety of reasons:
- It’s a judgment-free zone. Everyone in the class is “in it together,” so there tends to be lots of encouragement and support. This is especially true if the class is geared toward a certain age group. This allows members to feel comfortable in a fitness facility setting.
- It’s a great way to meet new people, relate on a common interest and support one another. It’s fun and easy to build a friendship with others who are on the same health and wellness journey as you.
- It’s an opportunity to try something different or new. Try aquatic pilates or aquatic yoga for a different spin on land exercises. The resistance from the water offers the opportunity to experience a familiar class in a new and exciting way. Don’t be afraid to change up your class environment!
- Set the mood with music. Music is a great motivator for many people. When the music and exercise match, you may surprise yourself at the results. Who knew you could move so fast on the treadmill!
- Music can help you pace yourself. Consider starting with slower music and work up to a faster pace in the middle of your workout, then slowing down at the end for a cool down. Or switch between slow and fast songs for a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout that is good cardio exercise.
- Match the music to the workout. The music should enhance, not distract from, what you are doing. With yoga or Tai Chi, the music is selected to calm and relax, helping you to be more settled and in tune with yourself for greater muscle and movement control. However, that soothing, contemplative music for yoga probably wouldn’t motivate you for your treadmill or elliptical machine workout like your favorite, upbeat songs would.
- Music can be a motivator. Studies have shown that listening to music during exercise can improve results. Music not only encourages people to keep moving but also lifts their mood for greater endurance. Select music that you enjoy to help keep you motivated and having fun.
- Try something new. If you find yourself getting bored during your regular workout, switch it up. Trying something new will increase your confidence and you may find a new favorite exercise.
- Try a new piece of equipment. Once your body is used to a certain workout, your body tends to plateau. Adding a new exercise helps you build strength and endurance. Ask a fitness specialist to show you the proper way when using new equipment. You will get educated about the full benefits of the machine as well as protect yourself from any injury.
- Focus on a muscle group. Focusing on different muscle groups on different days is a great way to not overexert your muscles. It also helps add a change to your workout routine.
- Change how you are doing something. It may not be that you need a completely different exercise, but adjust the weight and or amount of repetitions you are currently doing. If you are a frequent walker, try walking up and down hills or explore a new park or walking trail.
- Reward yourself. Whether you set a goal for a week or a month, set something that will be meaningful to you and will keep you motivated. Some people reward themselves by buying a new piece of workout gear or putting money in a jar for something even larger. For me, I enjoy a sweet treat so I reward myself with a scoop of my favorite brand of rocky road ice cream. Here are some tips for setting up a reward system:
- Set a realistic goal. Be sure the goal is realistic especially if you are new to exercising. Consider setting goals daily, weekly and monthly to help you stay focused and reward yourself with your favorite treat or activity. If you have a sweet tooth like me, I recommend enjoying within moderation.
- Create a money jar. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, place money in the jar purchasing a Fitbit, new clothing or that bracelet you have been wanting.
- Don’t feel guilty about the money you spend on these treats. You’re worth it and can only be your best when you are taking care of yourself.
We invite you to visit our campus here at Twin Towers senior living community in Cincinnati. Visit our on-site fitness and aquatic center, The Connection at Twin Towers.
The Connection offers a full schedule of senior fitness classes and integrative therapies to help you live a healthy, active lifestyle. The Connection serves adults 50 years and older and welcomes non-residents from the surrounding community to become members and enjoy the benefits and services.
For a free tour of The Connection or the Twin Towers community, contact Twin Towers today! 513-853-2000.