Published: December 27, 2023
When it comes to physical exercise, many older adults are all in.
Thanks to health insurance benefits such as SilverSneakers, a barrage of medical messaging encouraging physical activity and the social benefits of engaging in group activities like pickleball, older men and women are a physically active bunch.But “same old same old” can get - well – old. Here are 3 tips to reinvigorate your fitness routine.
1. Join a Fitness Club
If you tend to stick to just one activity, joining a club is an easy way to try new activities that you might enjoy as much, or more. Along with exercise machines, swimming pool and gym, most clubs offer a variety of classes – yoga, strength training, barre, water aerobics, Zumba, spinning and more. That said, classes are often open to non-members at an additional charge.
Clubs also offer free or reduced sessions with a personal trainer. Our body changes as we age, and achy knee joints may mean we should stop running and take up swimming, for instance. A trainer can help you navigate the exercise maze and come up for a new plan for an older body.
Plus, clubs can be an easy way to meet people and make new friends of all ages.
Given that a popular New Year’s resolution is getting in shape, many gyms and fitness centers are offering specials so if you’ve been considering such a move maybe now is the time.
2. Gear: High Tech & Low
Let’s start with low.
Updating your workout wardrobe can be a great incentive to workout. Many of us regularly replace old shoes with ones that are more cushioned (and odor-free) but what about replacing tops and tights that are faded and frayed? Ditto for swim suits. And while you’re at it, add some new socks, headbands and sweats to the mix. (Specialty fitness shops like Lululemon can be expensive, but you can also find good deals and selection at stores like Target and Kohl’s.)
As for basic gear, take inventory. Maybe it’s time to also replace your yoga mat, gym bag, towel – fill in the blank.
For high tech, consider a fitness tracker.
“Wrist-worn fitness trackers that can monitor your steps and heart rate were once seen as cutting-edge devices,” explains The New York Times. “Now these wearables are becoming more high-tech with each release, equipped with features like personalized workout programs and the advertised ability to monitor stress or sleep quality.”
And more good news, the price is right: The Times’ top two trackers (Fitbit Inspire 3 and Fitbit Charge 6) can be purchased for $100.
Other high-tech exercise gadgets, according to GadgetFlow, include:
- Nix Hydration Biosensor Lightweight hydration monitor;
- Quell fitness gaming console;
- HAKII MIX open-ear headband-style headphones.
3. Shake it Up
Find ways to challenge yourself in 2024.
For instance, if you’re an avid runner, consider training for a 10K race or marathon, both part of the Cleveland Marathon in May. (The annual event also sponsors training events.) If swimming is your jam, check out a meet (open water or pool) sponsored by U.S. Masters Swimming.
Sign up for an adventure trip, such as a Road Scholar hike or bike trip, that requires you to turn up the volume before you hit the road. Or take your yoga practice to a higher level by becoming a certified yoga teacher.
If you’re an avid walker, how about forming a walking club like the Japanese do? Explains Blue Zones, “A Walking Moai comprises a group of 5-8 individuals who agree to meet weekly –for ten weeks–to walk and socialize. Roughly half of Okinawans belong to a moai, where each member commits to supporting each other.”
So as you flip the calendar to 2024, make a physical move too.
Kendal at Oberlin offers an active lifestyle with opportunities for lifelong learning, art and culture.
In the past, Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years. Now we are happy to have her writing for the Kendal at Oberlin Community.
About Kendal at Oberlin: Kendal is a nonprofit life plan community serving older adults in northeast Ohio. Located about one mile from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and about a 40 minute drive from downtown Cleveland, Kendal offers a vibrant resident-led lifestyle with access to music, art and lifelong learning.