Not all people are born as an athlete or serious with exercises. Most of the time, you want to exercise to keep your body fit. And while the gym scene can be intimidating added with the need to walk up to the treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight machines, they can be enough reasons for you to head back home.
Well, don’t go stressing over that. A lot of physical activities do not require you to go to the gym or run a marathon. These are easy workout but can do wonders on your health. Exercises, whether simple or strenuous will keep your weight under control, improve balance and range of motion, strengthen bones, protect joints, prevent bladder control problems, and ward off memory loss.
Here are some activities you can always do no matter your age or fitness level:
- Swimming. Swimming might be called a perfect workout. The water’s buoyancy supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move your body more fluidly. Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, explained, “Swimming is good for individuals with arthritis because it’s less weight-bearing.” Swimming can also improve your mental state according to researchers. Water aerobics is another option that can help you tone up and burn calories.
- Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that combines movement. Called “meditation in motion,” Tai Chi is made up of a series of graceful movements, transitioning smoothly to the next. Classes are offered at a variety of levels, and Tai Chi is accessible and valuable for people of different fitness levels. “It’s particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older,” Dr. Lee says. Tai Chi programs can be found at your local health club, community center, senior center, or YMCA.
- Strength Training. Strength training is a macho, brawny activity- most people would say that but, think again. Lifting weights do not necessarily build up your muscles but rather strengthen them. Dr. Lee explains, “If you don’t use muscles, they will lose their strength over time.” Like other exercises, strength training helps preserve brain function in later years. Dr. Lee adds, “The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, so it’s easier to maintain your weight.” However, do not start right away with your weight training program. Start light and gradually increase the weight after a couple of weeks. You can change the weights if you can lift the weights through an entire range of motion for more than 12 times.
- Walking. Walking may sound very simple, but it can do wonders in your body. Walking can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep a stable blood pressure, lift the mood and lowers your risk of a diseases like diabetes and heart diseases. There have been several studies that claim walking and other physical activities can improve memory and resist age-related memory loss.
- Kegel Exercises. Kegel exercises may not look like much, but they do something just as important as other physical activities. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. Strong pelvic muscles can help prevent incontinence. Kegel exercises are most common to women, but it’s actually beneficial for men as well. A kegel exercise is correctly done by squeezing the muscles you use to prevent yourself from passing urine or gas. Then, you hold the contraction for two or three seconds then release. Completely relax your pelvic floor muscle after contraction. Repeat it ten times, and try doing four or five sets a day.
You may not notice it, but many of the day to day activities we do are already counted as exercise. Raking the yard is one. Ballroom dancing and playing with kids are also counted. As long as what you’re doing is something aerobic for at least 30 mins a day added up with two strength training days per week, you’re good to go and you are now an “active” person.