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Step 1: Get Out of Bed

It’s hard to argue that exercise can have outstanding physical and emotional benefits in addition to a offering a happier, healthier and longer life. But sometimes getting started or sticking to a routine can be the most difficult aspect. Luckily Dr. Rick Smith, a medical director of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging, has ten easy steps that can get you moving in no time. In the article Ten Ideas to Help Senior Citizens Out of Ben and into Exercising, Smith explains that older people are aware of the value of exercise but are slow to start. He said the key to longevity is simply to “get out of bed.”

Here are a few of Smith’s tips:

  • Try. Just showing up is half the battle.
  • Have an exercise buddy.
  • Start slow. It’s the effort that counts.
  • Give yourself physical activity “homework assignments.”
  • Seek out ways to build physical activity into your daily routine.
  • Think of exercise sessions as “appointments” that you must keep.
  • When you can’t keep your appointment, don’t be too hard on yourself.
  • Keep a record of what you do and your progress. It’s fun to chart victories!
  • If you cease exercising for a few weeks but return, start out at half the effort.
  • Wear supportive, comfortable shoes.Build a routine around stretching, walking and strength training.

Smith said older adults most often lose their abilities because they have become inactive, not because they are less able-minded. Aside from a prolonged life, exercise has also been linked to reducing the risk of depression and dementia, he said. Home Care Assistance Columbus recommends checking with your doctor before starting any form of exercise program.

 

Up and at ‘em!