There are some special considerations if you are starting a new workout routine when you are older. Because you are older your physical limitations need to be taken into consideration, as well as any existing medical problems that you may have or other special circumstances. Many think that you must go to the gym, or purchase expensive home exercise equipment, but this is not true. You can gain better health just by talking a 45 minute walk around the neighborhood several times a week, or swimming instead if you require low impact options. Older individuals may not be in prime physical shape, so any new exercise regimen should start slow, with gradual changes. Do not try to go from being sedentary to running 5 miles at a time within the first week. Drastic changes could put your health at risk instead of improving it.
Start With Your Physician
Starting a new workout routine when you are older means starting with a visit to your doctor. As a medical professional who knows your health history and any past and current medical problems or diseases that you have your doctor can provide the best advice and guidance on what you should and shouldn’t do. When you stay active as you age you will have a better quality of life and fewer health risks, and it is never too late to start. It is important to get clearance from your physician before you begin a new routine though, to make sure that it is safe to do so right now.
Your physician will probably want to give you a check up and evaluation to make sure that there are no problems that could interfere with a new exercise program. You may also get advice on diet and other factors that may need to be adjusted to compensate for an increase in physical activity. The doctor can also help you understand your maximum heart rate and target heart rate if you do not understand what these are or what your numbers should be in these categories.
Start Slow and Gradually Increase Your Activity So You Don’t Over Do It
One of the most important aspects of starting a new workout routine when you are older is to start out slow and small. Your exercise program does not have to be boring, because if it is not something that you will actually stick with then you will not get any health benefits. Walking on a treadmill day after day can get old fast, but taking a daily swim or using a different aerobics set each day will keep things from getting boring and help you stick with the program over time.
Start out with small steps. Take a 30 minute walk each day, and try to add 5 minutes each week or two. Once you can walk for 45-60 minutes each day for 5 times a week then pick up the pace, trying speed walking and timing your progress. Strength training is also important, even if you are older, so make sure that you perform these routines as well. A filled gallon jug can replace gym weightlifting equipment if desired, and this also has the advantage of letting you choose how much liquid to add to the jug based on your current physical fitness level.