Starting a Fitness Journey in Later Life

 There's no time like the present to start a fitness journey. We can plan for our future, but we must take action now. Getting started doesn't have to be difficult. Here are some tips to help you get started: 

Get medical clearance

While exercise is good for your health, requiring medical clearance before starting an exercise program can be intimidating. In addition to the pain and the risk of unnecessary testing, going to the doctor to get cleared may make you feel embarrassed and reluctant to get started. If you're new to exercise, begin slowly and pay attention to your body's signals. Eventually, you'll find that exercise is not as scary as it once was. 

Set small goals

One of the key things to do when starting a fitness journey in later life is to set small goals for yourself. Aim to get stronger, and make your goals specific and relevant to your lifestyle. A measurable goal might be to increase your number of push-ups. Another example of a meaningful goal could be to feel stronger when playing with your kids. If your goal is to feel stronger, then you're more likely to be motivated by it and stick to it.

Whether you're planning to join a gym or take up a new sport, make sure to start small. It's important not to overdo it, or you'll end up hurting yourself. Instead, try to do a few simple exercises on a daily basis. If you can, walk for at least 15 minutes each day, take the stairs instead of an elevator, and take regular stretch breaks. This will build a fitness habit over time. 

Work on your strengths

When starting a fitness program in your later years, focus on your strengths and weaknesses 10% of the time. Working on your weaknesses will help you to improve your strengths. There are many resources online that will inspire you to exercise more regularly. For example, the physical activity guidelines for adults recommend that we engage in 150 minutes of moderate-tovigorous aerobic activity each week, and do two or more days of high-intensity musclestrengthening activities. Of course, no perfect workout schedule exists, and the ideal regimen depends on your goals and preferences. If you're interested in cardio, you might want to incorporate walking or swimming into your routine, while bodyweight exercises are great for strength. 

Avoid injuries

The first thing you need to do when starting a fitness journey is listen to your body. It can be tempting to push yourself to your limit and get injured, but the "no pain, no gain" philosophy is a sure-fire way to injure yourself. Instead, start slowly and gradually increase your levels of exercise until you can do it without pain. Listed below are some tips to avoid injuries when starting a fitness journey in later life.

Take small, frequent steps. Several experts recommend varying exercise routines and alternating low-impact activities, such as jogging or yoga. Also, consider incorporating crosstraining and strength-training exercises to reduce your risk of injury. Remember, if you took a break from exercise for a long time, you may not be able to do the same things you used to do. 

Be patient

Adults who start a fitness journey later in life tend to make bigger gains in both physical and mental health than those who start early. They will not have to deal with sports injuries and won't have accumulated so many miles on the clock. Start with mild activities and work up from there. Even if you're not a seasoned athlete, you'll find it helpful to build up slowly.

The secret to success in starting a fitness journey later in life is consistency. It may take months or years to see dramatic changes. Even then, you may not see noticeable results for several months. This is because your body is undergoing a transformation on the inside. But if you're consistent in your efforts, you will notice results faster. This is especially important if you've been inactive for years.