My golden stars, start somewhere
This one’s for you, my golden stars. Start somewhere.
This past weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to meet, greet and spread my love of fitness and wellness with the African Methodist Episcopal Church and guests at their First Annual Health Fair.
Let me tell you, there were huge smiles of gratitude and pride from both me and guests at my booth. A heart-warming experience.
It was brought to my attention during one encounter that seniors tend to be stagnant or fearful of movement. This stems from lack of knowledge or confidence in their body.
So, this article is for you, my loving, eager elders who want to move but don’t know where to begin.
When it comes to age, it’s so important to prioritise physical and mental health well-being. My humble opinion is that we approach fitness and wellness holistically, remembering the importance of physical fitness and mental wellness.
In the beginning of your journey, it’s important to remember that “we all start from somewhere”.
Keeping that in mind, start with gentle exercises such as walking, swimming or even yoga. These low impact exercises will help improve cardiovascular health, flexibility, and balance without putting excessive strain on joints. As you notice your fitness improving you can increase the time or intensity.
As you know, I’m a firm believer in strength training. In this sense, it isn’t about power lifts and heavy weights, but rather implementing strength training to maintain muscle mass and improve bone density, which tend to decrease with age and lack of movement.
Never stop squatting. I said this many times on Saturday. The action of squatting remains relevant in our lives, forever. Bathroom, mealtime, tv time, casual sit-offs. We must squat to sit. Squat to get into bed. It’s a movement that we do and should continue doing for life. Many visitors to my booth learnt about maintaining core engagement while walking, sitting, standing, squatting – which improved how they sat down – without hands on their knees I might add.
In implementing strength training, begin with bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, or light weights. Of course, as you improve or if you wish, reach out to any physiotherapist, personal training to provide you tips or even a program to suit your abilities and goals.
As we age, move less our range of motion and flexibility decreases. Consider incorporating yoga into your weekly regime. Not only will this help improve your range of motion, joint help and flexibility, it is good for relaxation, reducing stress and your mental health.
Speaking of mental health, it’s also important to remain engaged with friends and family. Your emotional and mental health will thank you. Perhaps you can join a club, class or community group to stay connected with friends and even make new friends. Remember to do things that bring you joy.
What remains important at any stage in life if of course, nutrition. Balanced, nutrient dense diets are important for your overall health, something that remains true no matter what stage of life we are in. Remember to consume your vegetables, fruits, proteins and whole grains.
One thing that was prevalent in conversations on Saturday was the mention of water intake. I’m not too sure why, but my older generation needs a reminder to stay hydrated. Drink your water guys.
I’ve suggested, every time the phone rings, pick up a glass of water. I’m not saying you’re home sitting by the phone, but my momma is always on that thing – don’t tell her I said that.
This fitness and wellness journey is not a one size fits all but it is vital in living a fulfilling life. With regular doctor visits, getting adequate sleep, adding physical exercise, friendships, balanced diets, and maintain good mental health you are on your way to living a more positive, fulfilling life.
Listen to your body, rest when you need to, challenge yourself if you desire, but with everything you do, remember we all start somewhere. Enjoy the journey, remain unapologetic about your journey, true to yourself and honest with your efforts.
If you desire is to improve our livelihood, adding better movement and joy do all the above with a positive mindset, invite friends and enjoy the journey.
Remember, it’s never too late to invest in your health and create a future filled with vitality, joy and fulfilment. I believe in you!