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From the Community Press

Spring: getting in shape for the summer

Spring has arrived. The warmer weather is so inviting and there is the promise of summer fun in the air. Spring brings life and energy. Many have the urge to start Spring cleaning projects. Or you may find yourself planning for a vacation to the beach this summer. It’s also the time of year to become more active. Retirement is wonderful because you can plan your day exactly the way you want to. Do you like to wake up early and start out with a cup of coffee? Morning time is often when we have the most energy in the day. Let’s look at a few activities you could plan after that morning coffee.

Staying active year around is very healthy. If you’ve been bundling up and braving the cold this past winter, good for you. But for many, it was the time to stay in and drink tea while watching some holiday movies. It’s understandable. Now with the arrival of Spring, we want to become fit and active and ready for some good summer times. Start out small, adding just a few simple ways to exercise each day. And before you begin, touch base with your doctor and see what recommendations they have for you based on your specific health needs. Ask your doctor which exercises would be helpful and healthy for you to try. Never push yourself doing exercises which might exhaust you or make you feel uncomfortable without your doctor’s direction. Here are some ideas you could bring up at your doctor’s visit.

Swimming

If you live in a retirement or adult community with an aquatic center, consider taking advantage of the pools. You can swim laps or do water exercises. Exercising in the water is gentle on the joints and gets you moving. Plus water is refreshing and has a summery feel. Consider a stroll down to the pool every morning. Also check to see if your senior community has some aquatic exercise classes to offer. You could join a group and learn new exercises while making some new friends.

Walking. If your joints are still up for it, consider some gentle walks to start out with. Take your fury friend with you. A stroll down to the dog park every day could be a good way to start. Retirement communities can offer walking paths right out your door, and benches incase you need to take a break. Take advantage of these community amenities and see if you can increase your daily walk every week. Just 15 to 30 minutes a day of walking can be very beneficial to your health and help increase your activity level for summer adventures.

Community Wellness Center. If you are fortunate enough to live in a senior retirement community, you’ll probably have access to a wellness center with exercise equipment and gym areas. And it probably won’t be far for you to walk from your home! It can be intimidating to learn how to use gym equipment or how to do proper work outs. A huge benefit of living in such a retirement community is that the wellness center will be specifically geared towards addressing seniors needs, whether residents are new to exercising or gym pros. Your wellness center may offer personalized trainers to help you on an individual level, or you may wish to join a group class. Try out a few classes before committing to one that you enjoy. Senior communities gear classes to people exactly like you – seniors of all ages, abilities and needs. So take advantage of these opportunities and get moving!

Life Plan Opportunities. Life Plan communities offer services for many needs, whether you are still very active or require nursing home or assisted living type care. If you or a loved one is in need of this extra assistance, you’ll also have access to specialized daily activities and support geared towards your specific situation. Your caregivers will be able to work with your health care providers and assist you.

Apps. If you have an iPad or other technology that enables you to view apps, consider browsing some exercise programs. These virtual workouts are designed to allow you to participate from your living room as an instructor shows you exactly what to do. Some apps also allow you to track progress as well as daily weights and water intake, for example. Try to find one that is geared towards your age group and particular needs. Be sure to ask your doctor for guidance before embarking on such a program. Some exercises could be harmful. And you may have different needs for water intake or weight loss or gain goals. These are areas that your health care team can help you determine.

There are so many ways seniors can get in shape for this summer. Find a friend who could help keep you motivated and have some fun along the way. You’ll find that just spending some time outdoors and breathing in the fresh mountain air here in Albuquerque can be quite energizing. New Mexico has that unique mix of desert and mountains that never gets old!

2 responses to “Spring: getting in shape for the summer

  1. Staying or getting in shape is a great way for our seniors to stay young and keep their health in tip-top shape! You don’t have to go crazy with it. A simple walk or lifting light weights every day does amazing things for your mood and your body! Great tips!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Kendra! We are glad to hear you enjoyed our article.

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