By Jasmine Young, Wellness Specialist at The Connection at Twin Towers
Exercise is fun? Sounds crazy but it can be. Some people feel they force themselves to exercise but it's like work and they don't enjoy it.
With cardiovascular disease as a leading cause of death, we know exercising at least 30 minutes for 3 to 5 days a week is important but how can we get motivated to take care of ourselves?
Through my own personal experience, education and coaching of active seniors at The Connection at Twin Towers, I have learned how to make exercise fun and get results, here are my favorite tips.
4 Tips to Put the Fun in Senior Fitness
1. Join An Exercise Class
Zumba, yoga, aerobic and strength training are among the variety of fitness classes 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. It’s fun and easy to build a friendship with others who have a common interest as you. You can support each other on your health and wellness journey.
- 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!
2. Set The Mood With Music
Music is a great motivator for many people. When the music and exercise match, you may surprise yourself with 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.
3. 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 you get accustomed 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.
4. 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.
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. You’re worth the time you spend exercising and the money you spend on rewards. You can only be your best you when you are taking care of yourself - and you’re worth it!
Wellness Specialists like Jasmine, are expertly trained to develop workout routines and exercises that are personalized to your goals. The Twin Towers fitness center, The Connection, offers a variety of classes and equipment specifically designed for those aged 50+. The Aquatic Center includes a 75-foot heated pool, aquatic bikes, and a whirlpool.
Our fitness center is open to the community and memberships are available. For more information on The Connection or Twin Towers, contact us online or give us a call at 513-247-1300.