Tips to Stay Active Over 60

By on January 7, 2018

By Erika Rosenthal–

Hey there, 60-somethings! This decade is a time for you to be active and enjoy your golden years. If you have always been active, staying active will be easy. If you have been leading a sedentary life, getting active might be harder, but far from impossible. 

Here are a few tips for getting active and staying moving well into the future.  

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Consult Your Doctor

While it might not seem like an important step, you need to ensure your body is ready for the exercise plan you have in mind. Your doctor can warn you of any exercises to stay away from and which ones will help you most. Be sure to have a consultation before you start any activity, even if you have always been active.   

Always Stretch

Stretching is a huge part of exercising, and many people skip it. As we age, tendons and ligaments change, which can decrease flexibility. Be sure to stretch your arms, back and legs as a warm up to your exercise. 

Strengthen Muscles

Over time our muscles lose their strength and flexibility. The loss of muscle mass and strength can lead to soreness and stiffness as well as difficulty performing regular tasks like walking up stairs, carrying groceries and even opening jars. That’s why weight and strength training are so important as you age. Try exercising with light dumbbells or resistance bands two to three times a week. 

Add in Aerobic Activity

Our metabolism slows as we age. For many, the idea of gaining weight is less than appealing, and that’s why aerobic, or cardio, exercise is so important. This can include walking, biking, tennis or even swimming. You will want to choose activities that get your heart rate up and have a lower impact on your joints. 

Eat Properly

Bones lose mass, mineral content and density as we get older, making them fragile and vulnerable to fractures. Be sure you are getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet to help prevent any fractures. Also, before you exercise, consume foods high in complex carbs and proteins to give you extra energy for the workout. 

Don’t Ignore Pain

If you feel pain when you are exercising, stop immediately. You do not need to push yourself too far too fast. This could end in injuries. If the pain is coming from your joints, see a doctor to uncover the cause, which could range from tendonitis to arthritis. Over-the-counter medications can help, but if the pain persists, it might be time to consider other options.

If chronic pain, especially neck or back pain, is keeping you from enjoying life’s everyday moments, it may be time to consider seeing a specialist. Back Pain Centers of America (BPC) can match you with a board-certified orthopedist close to home so you can get the quality care you need, including the latest minimally invasive treatments available.

Erika Rosenthal is the Vice President of Strategy and Healthcare Partnerships for Back Pain Centers of America. Her passion is in helping making the patient journey a positive experience.

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Tips to Stay Active Over 60