04 Sep Keeping Fit as We Age
Let’s face it: as much as popular culture would like to deny it, our bodies age. When we’re young and raising families, we’ve got loads of energy and stamina, especially if we also have a robust exercise regime. But as we grow older, our physical bodies can begin to feel the pull of the aging process. At Phelps LaClair, a second generation firm that helps clients build successful estate plans, we believe in legacy and making a difference through the generations. We also believe in living active, quality lives, regardless of age.
Keeping Fit as We Age
Exercise isn’t just for your body. Incorporating some sort of regular workout like walking, biking, swimming, or another low-impact activity into your week is shown to improve mood, help with mental acuity and promote better sleep. And in addition to toning your muscles and increasing flexibility and balance, exercise helps boost your immune system, gives you more energy, increases metabolism, positively impacts bone density and digestive function, and is a boon for your posture and coordination. All of these benefits help you stay healthier as you grow older.
One important aspect of staying fit as we age involves stretching for increased flexibility. Adding flexibility training to a low-impact aerobic workout routine is vital for older adults. And if you’re new to exercise, or it’s been a while since you’ve worked those muscles, flexibility is even more important, as it can help prevent injury. Here’s one great website that gives easy guidelines for stretching, along with recommended time limits and frequency of repetition. Stretching regularly helps in the aging process by increasing blood flow to our muscles, improving our range of motion, and improving posture. Those stretches you do may even help with lowering or avoiding back pain and calming your mind as a stress-reliever.
Never too Late to Start
If you haven’t had an exercise plan for years and you’re wondering whether there’s any value in starting one when you’re older—the short answer is, it’s well worth the effort. If you’ll give yourself plenty of time to build up from no exercise to an easy level, and then to a more moderate plan, you can safely help your body adjust to the physical effort. It’s important not to go all-out right away, but to help your body slowly adjust. And an annual physical is also a good idea, to make sure your doctor is aware of your exercise plans, and to give you peace of mind when he or she clears you to begin.
Stretching, along with some form of daily low-impact aerobic exercise, can help us grow older gracefully while keeping us in good shape. Whether we’re in our 50s, 60s, or 70s and beyond, maintaining our physical health as we age can make a big difference in our outlook and experience in daily life.
At Phelps LaClair firm, we value staying fit. It’s part of taking care of ourselves and being our best for our families and our community. In the same way that creating effective estate plans can help build successful financial futures, keeping physically active through the years can help to create a healthier future. We humans are wonderfully created to love and enjoy life, and that includes taking care of our physical bodies!