There’s a lot of contradictory information on fitness out there — it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But really, it’s quite simple. No matter your age or fitness level, incorporating some physical activity into your schedule every day is essential. It’s oft forgotten that you don’t have to be a champion-in-training to get healthy exercise. Here are 5 tips that you can easily implement to stay fit at any age.
Stop making excuses. The weather is gloomy. You are lethargic. You didn’t eat your power eggs this morning. Whatever your go-to excuse is, stop making it. There is always time for getting your body moving. And you know that, in the end, you’ll feel so much better for it.
Walk more. The secret to lifelong fitness lies truly in the simple act of walking more. Even if you’re a gym rat, the hour or two you spend at the gym is meaningless in the long term if you’re just sitting at a desk the rest of the day. Sedentary lifestyles are very harmful to your health and can actually take years off of your life. Conversely, cultures known for their longevity usually highly favor walking as a daily form of gentle exercise. Walking can additionally be very meditative, and can help squelch work-related stresses throughout the day.
Have fun. Slogging along on a treadmill is enough to make anyone cringe at the thought of working out. So what’s the secret to keeping fit? Well, it’s as simple as having fun. Find an activity that you love to do — like tennis, hiking, dancing, biking, yoga, boxing, you name it — and just do it. If you love what you’re doing, it’s no longer a dreaded workout, but a fun hobby. Give something new a try!
Spend less time ‘exercising.’ Not having enough time is no longer a valid excuse to get you out of exercising. Recent research has supported short bursts of intense exercise as opposed to long grueling workouts at the gym. This means you can fit in a full body workout in as little as 10 to 20 minutes. The only catch is that these workouts must be performed at very high intensity with short rest periods in between. If you’re not into intense intervals, breaking up your day with a few brisk, 10 minute walks can confer some great benefits as well.
Sleep enough. Sleep is so important, it cannot be overstated. Skimp on sleep and you’ll be groggy, succumb to cravings more easily, and make poor decisions — like forgoing exercise and binging on Netflix and ice cream instead. Chronic lack of sleep also prematurely ages and stresses your body. If you want to stay fit throughout life, logging quality snooze time is paramount.
Lifelong fitness is easier than you think. It requires a little dedication, but it will be well worth the effort in the long run. By making a few small changes in your habits and outlooks, you can stay fit for life.