May is Older Americans Month. In honor of that, the YMCA is raising awareness on the importance of continuing your fitness journey even in your older years.
Sooner or later we all are going to get older.
“It’s hard to get started. It’s really emotional, and you have to except the fact that you are getting older.”
But there are a few things we can do to help ease the process.
“One is to have a good diet, a healthy diet. Two is to exercise. Threes to socialize. Four is to have a spiritual life, and five is to work with numbers.”
YMCA Fitness Instructor Joe Rose said joining a group fitness class, like her active older adults class, is a great first step.
“We use light weights and we use a ball to do balancing. Then we do 15 minutes of matt work. A lot of people don’t like to go down on the mat but it really is helpful,” said Rose.
These types of classes also help to promote socialization.
“We go to lunch together once a month. That way we get to know each other, we enjoy having new people in, so it’s a very friendly group. Socialization for older people is very, very important,” said Rose.
And if you can’t make it to the gym there are exercises you can do at home to keep your muscles strong.
“There are some exercises that you can do at home. One is squats. I tell them every time you go to the bathroom squat over the toilet 12 times. You need to do that three times a day,” said Rose.
Rose said the key is to work at your own pace and find what works best for you.
“We march and do all the exercises for 30 minutes and if anybody can’t do it they sit down to do the exercises in a chair. And we have several that do that.”
And last but certainly not least, never stop engaging your mind.
“My classes, we start doing multiplication tables. And it’s amazing how quickly you forget that. But just saying a number, looking at a number, that’s so important.”
Rose said following these tips will help you age graciously and stay independent as long as possible.
“Take care of your body and take care of your mind because you don’t want somebody having to take care of it for you. As you get older you want to be able to do it on your own,” said Rose.