It’s no shock that aging individuals can experience improved health and overall well-being by adopting new fitness habits.
For many individuals, the feeling of having waited too long to adopt an anti-aging lifestyle sets in a negative mindset that health can’t be attained, however, research shows that starting a healthy diet, regular exercise and quitting poor habits, such as smoking, can still have a significant effect on your overall health and longevity, even if these habits aren’t started until after the age of 50.
Physical activity has a variety of health benefits. Working out or partaking in sports can not only enhance one’s physique and physical appearance but can also help participants maintain a healthy weight, boost energy, strengthen their immune systems, induce more restful and lengthier periods of sleep, improve mood, reduce anxiety and provide a constructive avenue for managing stress and tension.
Unfortunately, many people, especially as they age, fail to obtain a proper amount of physical activity. Common excuses offered by numerous individuals include that they lack the time, are too tired or simply do not have or cannot find the motivation to commit themselves to any type of exercise regimen.
The importance of exercise is vital for a variety of factors on aging health, however for those looking to partake of a healthy routine for the first time, adopting such a habit can be tricky. According to studies in behavioral science however, there are certain steps that can be made to ease the process and help elderly adults on their way to increasing their physical fitness levels.
Methods to Stimulate an Interest in Exercise
Behavioral scientists opine that aging persons might find greater motivation to become more physically active by employing specific methods designed to pique their interest in the undertaking.
1. Establish A Fitness Routine with Friends
Going to the gym, running or playing your favorite sport with a friend or in a group could prove beneficial for several reasons. Exercise can often be more fun when doing do with others. In addition, friends can motivate one another to remain committed, as well as to set and attain loftier goals.
2. Have Reasonable Aims
Today’s world is a “results now” society. This belief frequently applies to the exercising experiences of some individuals. A lack of instant success may lead to frustration and some might opt to quit if their efforts do not produce a positive outcome such as weight loss, increased strength or bigger muscles overnight. It is important for would-be exercisers to realize that workout programs are much more of a marathon than a sprint. While there is nothing wrong with setting significant goals, achieving smaller ones along the way may help keep motivation and focus high and, above all, the individual in question still engaging in regular physical activity.
3. Adopt A Healthier Diet
Sometimes, adhering to one healthier habit might inspire an individual to adopt others. Consuming a diet rich in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables might lead to weight loss and increased strength. Individuals who feel healthier and stronger could be more motivated to exercise and participate in other health-benefitting endeavors.
4. Believe You Can
Some behavioral scientists ascertain that positive beliefs may precipitate positive results. Should someone express confidence in his or her ability to accomplish a task like exercising, the chances said individual will attain those goals are significantly increased.
5. Document Progress Made
The phrase “put it in writing” certainly could apply to maintaining an exercise regimen. Even in circumstances when a person might not see tangible physical changes when glancing in the mirror, the proof might be witnessed in the documented results. Behavioral scientists encourage aging exercise participants chart their progress. Statistics such as one’s weight or blood pressure readings could be important to staying involved. If improvements are documented, one can take comfort in knowing that his or her efforts are paying dividends.
6. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
If you’ve ever noticed that you always brush your teeth before putting on deodorant, or you seem to always get your morning coffee before getting dressed, there’s a reason for it! According to research by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 40 percent of an individual’s regular habits are performed in near-identical daily situations. In other words, if you do something every day, it will inevitably stick. That in mind, make sure you are forcing yourself to repeat the healthy habits each day.
7. Ditch the Deadline
It’s good to have reasonable goals but setting a hard deadline for yourself (“I’m going to start running every day by next month!” or “By this time next year I will be 50 pounds lighter!”) will only set yourself up for failure. If you have your strict deadline playing in your mind day-in and day-out, when progress doesn’t pick up as your deadline approaches, you are more likely to ditch the whole thing.
Whether it’s a goal to ditch the sugary sodas, walk one mile each day, practice aquatic aerobics on a regular basis, or eat a healthier diet, remember: it takes on average about two months to turn an action into a second-nature ritual.