SECRETS TO SUCCESSFUL FITNESS
Before anything else, we must resolve that we want to start a fitness routine. The evidence is so overwhelming regarding the positive effects of a regular physical routine on reducing falls and improving health and happiness. So we choose to go forward. What kind of activities? There are many to choose from. Balance improvement, swimming, walking, T'ai Chi. One or more. How do you get started? We know we want to do this and we know which we want to pursue. How do we actually begin?
HOW TO GET STARTED: The steps to take to ensure success:
These are very simple and VERY important.
- Timing is everything: Be consistent in your attendance/practice. Choose a time of day and days of the week that fit in your schedule. Make the time of day the same on each day you practice. The body loves consistency. Practice at 10am every time is so much better than 10am one day and 2pm the next. Mornings are often best but take the effort to think about where and when the activity fits your schedule the best and then stick to it.
- Make it simple and small: 10 minutes each day is far, far better than 1 hour every other week. Stick to the basics. Take on more as you want to but get the basics down first. Don't try to do too much in the beginning.
- Make your fitness your highest priority: Stick to your schedule. Make your attendance your highest priority. When choosing appointment times for your doctor, your hair stylist or your stock broker, consider your fitness routine times the highest of all your priorities. Of course there are exceptions but the exceptions should be few and far between. When someone comes to visit take them with you, especially family. They will understand and respect so much more if you let them participate with you. You will have so much more to talk with them about later.
- Expect that you won't want to: Fitness is not based on impulse wants or desires. It is based on wanting the end result. Not many people want to lift 50 lb weights but they want stronger arms. If you want to not fall, do what will stop you from falling...exercise. Don't expect to want to exercise itself. You won't. When your body has had a chance to absorb these things, you will start feeling really differently and you will find that the exercise and the routine are the things you look forward to the most each day. But there are times you won't want to. If you have arthritis you may feel really achy and not want to stick to your schedule. Do it anyway because it will make you feel better. If you are feeling anxious about something you may feel like you can't concentrate but do it anyway because you will feel less anxious after. In other words, with exceptions, not wanting to is a red flag that tells you to do it anyway.
- Caregivers and family members, participate along with your client or relative: When practicing using a fitness DVD, it is much better if someone is participating with you. As a caregiver or child of an aging parent, not only observe your client/parent doing the exercises but do them along with them as well. You serve as an additional role model and make it all much more effective. It is also far more motivating for seniors to have others join in.
If falls concern you, balance training is the clear best activity to include in you routine, especially Building Better Balance because of its focus on how to prevent falls while improving balance and overall health.