6 Quick and Easy Ways to Stay Active and Healthy in Your 60s
These expert tips will help you keep moving.
As we age, exercise can seem more daunting. However, according to the CDC, staying active is crucial. They recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running plus at least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles and activities to improve balance, such as standing on one foot. "Staying active and healthy in your later years does not have to be intimidating or daunting. There are ways to make exercise fun and realistic," explains Mighty Health health coach Tequisha McLaughlin, NBC-HWC. Here are a few easy ways to stay active and healthy in your 60s.
"First and most importantly, meet your needs and make your goals fit where you are currently," says McLaughlin. Use your age to your advantage and seek out an activity that you know you enjoyed in the past or something new that you can see yourself enjoying and growing into. "If you loved to run in the past, use that and start with walking, or if you enjoy groups, seek out a class for others your age."
Always start attainable and build up, suggests McLaughlin. "Balance, aerobic activity, and strength building are key areas to focus on for those 50 and older," she says. "Do not look at these as tasks but get creative with how you move and the time you choose to do them. Build a routine by identifying something that you do almost every day and incorporate movement in before, after, or during that activity."
Incorporate movement into your daily life. "For aerobic movement you can try dancing while cleaning or on the phone, walking up and down the stairs five times, parking in the back of the parking lot and walking, taking the initiative with gardening, raking, or shoveling snow, or taking a short walk before or after dinner," suggests McLaughlin.
Do simple strength training exercises, says McLaughlin. "Quick examples of strength-based exercise includes: standing up and down on your toes while brushing your teeth, working out with resistance bands, turning household items into weights (ex: soups cans for dumbbells), using your body weight for resistance (ex: push ups), doing situps before bed, digging in the garden, holding yoga poses."
Improve your balance with movements like walking backward, standing on one leg, closing your eyes while standing on one leg, and heel-to-toe walking, suggest McLaughlin.
"The biggest recommendation is starting realistically and with attainable goals not only to prevent injury but to build consistency. Find a way to make it fun for YOU!" McLaughlin recommends.