Tips for Starting an Exercise Routine at Any Age

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Exercise is a great habit, but it can seem intimidating or time-consuming. Our busy schedules, unpleasant experiences in our youth, or even chronic illnesses and disabilities may prevent us from exercising the way we want to. 

Athletic abilities may seem like the domain of the young and gifted. However, it’s never too late to add exercise to your routine if you have been sedentary for a long time.

According to the U.S. Health and Human Services department, a movement practice can help you decrease the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Additionally, a 2019 study by JAMA Network Open showed that people who were sedentary throughout the beginning of their lives still reaped the benefits of starting a new exercise regimen in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. You’re right on time. 

1Start Small and Be Gentle

If you are in your 30s, 40s, 50s, or 60s and didn’t feel athletically inclined earlier in life or experienced hindrances that prevented you from moving the way you wanted to, starting to exercise may be intimidating or time-consuming.

In January 2022, JAMA Network Open published a study that found that adding 10 minutes of exercise per day may be enough to prevent 110,000 deaths annually in adults between the ages of 40 and 85. This is excellent news for people with many responsibilities and hectic schedules.  

Here are some ideas for adding movement to your day:

  • Social media sites such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram have great short exercise routines. Be mindful of which accounts you follow, and look for university, news, medical association, and other qualified sources first.

  • Make it easy, relaxing, and fun. Stretches, qigong, beginner-level yoga, or even dancing are great ways to start exercising without hitting the gym.

  • Combine this with another hobby. If you love music, take a dance break to your favorite song, or walk for the length of the song. Love video games? Check fitness video games for your favorite console and choose the most manageable levels.

  • Swimming is a great activity and is safe for people with disabilities.   

  • Keep it financially feasible. You don’t have to join a gym in order to start exercising. Walks, exercise bands, community centers, and online tutorials are all great alternatives to pricey memberships or home gym equipment.

2Be True to Yourself

Introverts may decide that a solo routine is best for them, but more social people might enjoy joining a group, using their walks to call a loved one to catch up, or finding an accountability partner. People with chronic illnesses or disabilities may also benefit from finding people with similar experiences who have an exercise regimen tailored to their specific needs.  

3Re-Examine Your Why

Women are taught that exercise is a way for us to conform to beauty standards, lose weight, and look our best. These don’t have to be your reasons for incorporating exercise into your life

That’s why reexamining your why is key to making it easier to add movement to your life daily. A few reasons to exercise that have nothing to do with appearances or weight include: improved heart health, energy boost, and decreased stress. 

4Reward Yourself

Now that you’ve learned only 10 minutes per day can boost your health, you can also find ways to reward yourself for making healthy choices. Treat yourself to a fresh fruit juice of your choice by exploring a new location through your new exercise routine or purchasing a small but useful fitness gadget or article of clothing. 

Use your phone’s health or fitness tracker to view your progress, check out a new healthy restaurant or bistro, or even reward yourself by signing up for a new dance class or marathon. Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you skip a day. Remember that every day is new, and you can find new ways to move no matter what. 

Tags: exercise, health, wellness, Self Care

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Written By

Ingrid Cruz

Ingrid Cruz is a freelance writer, certified coffee-lover and loves a good joke. She's been published in The Lily, Business Insider, and Stylecaster. See Full Bio

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