While achieving and maintaining some level of fitness is important at every stage of life, it becomes an especially significant factor in health as we age. Unfortunately, fitness motivation for seniors is often not as simple as it may have been in earlier years. Even though the task of adding regular exercise to the daily routine may be met with more obstacles for seniors, those who have the drive and desire to accomplish the task will reap huge benefits over those who prefer to remain inactive.
The major stumbling block most people meet when trying to add regular exercise or weight training to their daily lives is motivation, and those over 65 are no exception. After all, it is much easier to remain inactive, staying home to watch television, for example. It almost seems as though laziness and inactivity are part of the common culture. As the body ages, energy is in shorter supply, and it almost seems easier to choose to be inactive.
However, when searching for that certain drive needed to get up and keep up with grandchildren or participate in the active lifestyle preferred by many seniors these days, there is a wealth of information and research available listing the many and varied benefits of developing that motivation. From the reduction of risk of falls and certain types of cancer to the relief of symptoms from some chronic diseases and conditions such as osteoporosis and constipation, regular exercise and physical activity have virtually no end of positive benefits.
Gaining the desire and drive necessary to add regular exercise to a daily routine isn’t always as simple as knowing it is a good idea and going out and doing it. For many, especially those over 65, depression and associated lower levels of certain hormones may play a role in decreased desire to get up and moving. In these cases, family support can be extremely helpful and important. Enlisting friends and family members in plans to introduce new activities can lead to things to look forward to, new hobbies, and something to live for.
Getting over the mental block associated with the introduction of these new routines can be almost as daunting as the physical obstacles in the path of many seniors. In time, though, getting up and getting the heart pumping leads to a cycle of increased beneficial hormones, decreased depression, and positive health outcomes, all leading to a healthier life.