5 Fun Ways to Get in Shape

in Health & Wellness, Tips & Advice

Move more for your health and fun.

What’s one thing you can do that will help boost your mood, give you more energy, prevent or delay many diseases, improve balance and control your weight? Exercise!

Regular physical activity can prevent many age-related health problems. It also keeps your muscles, bones, heart and lungs strong so you can keep doing the things you love — including more exercise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults over age 65 with no limiting health conditions should get at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) and two strength-training sessions each week. You can break aerobic activity into sessions as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour.

Need a bit of inspiration? Here are five fun activities to get your feet moving and keep your spirits high.

1 \\ Walking

Walking is easy, convenient and oh-so beneficial. For sedentary adults, CDC recommends starting with five to 10 minutes of brisk walking and build gradually from there. You can walk anywhere: on a trail, on a neighborhood path, in the mall or at a museum. You can walk alone, with family or with the Spectrum Steppers walking club. “It’s something everyone can do,” says Michelle Major, Spectrum’s Regional Director of Fun. “We even have residents in wheelchairs and walkers that walk with us.”

2 \\ Yoga

Low-impact yoga and Tai Chi benefit your mind, body and spirit. The various poses improve strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health. Instructors can tailor exercises to accommodate people with limited mobility. A resident at Spectrum’s Creve Coeur, Missouri, community walked into a chair yoga class with hesitation. She took a deep breath and jumped in anyway. At the end of the class, she cried, “This is what I’ve been waiting for!” She instantly became a chair yoga regular.

3 \\ Dancing

Dancing not only offers cardiovascular benefits, but also improves coordination and balance. Dance to the songs on the radio or attend one of Spectrum’s many dance classes and socials. No partner? No problem. Instructors often rotate partners so you can dance with (and meet) a number of people.

4 \\ Swimming

Water does wonders for the body. Swimming uses all major muscle groups, especially your core, which is important for good posture. And because you’re weightless, people with arthritis can exercise with less discomfort. If you don’t like to swim laps, water aerobics and aqua jogging offer cardiovascular benefits as well.

5 \\ Wii

Video games aren’t just for your grandkids. Nintendo’s gaming console, which works with your body movements, offers everything from tennis to skiing to help you stay in shape. There’s nothing like a Spectrum bowling tournament to fuel the competitive spirit and bring out the laughter and high-fives.

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