Get Motivated! How to Stay Active at Any Age

Posted on: June 2, 2022

This blog was originally published in 2021. It was updated in June 2022.

It’s fairly easy to recognize that exercise is good for your health, especially as you age. But making it part of your regular routine is a whole other ball game.

The key to establishing a regular exercise routine is starting with motivation. Find ways that naturally motivate you to stay active, and it will become a part of your routine. Do not sprint out of the gate. Instead, set realistic goals. Get some helpful tips on staying motivated to exercise in this blog. 

Getting Motivated to Exercise 

Here are a few practical ways to get motivated for your exercise routine:

  1. Define Your “Why”: Shift the traditional, “I want to lose XX pounds” to a purpose that is personal or makes an emotional connection. For example, you might say, “I want to wake up feeling more positive and motivated each day,” or “I don’t want the fear of heart failure to control my life anymore.”
  2. Schedule It: If you’re a planner or your schedule revolves around a day planner, use it to motivate you. Scheduling exercise makes it feel like part of your day and helps reduce excuses.
  3. Do What You Love: Take something you love to do (or used to do) and adjust the activity to fit your lifestyle today. Were you a track star back in high school? It might be motivating to mirror that feeling of a start and finish line by power walking from a designated point A to B. Or, do you have a favorite television show? Ride the elliptical bike while you watch it. Have a love for flowers? Buy some pots, get outside, and start planting.
  4. Join a Challenge or Cause: Sign up for an active fundraiser, such as a cancer walk-a-thon or local 5k event. You’ll likely not only help yourself get healthier, but you’ll also help others through a worthy cause.
  5. Find a Workout Buddy: It’s fun to work out with a friend or friends. They can help you stay accountable and motivate you.
  6. Add Variety: Are you an adventure seeker? If so, then don’t do the same exercise routine all the time. Mix it up! Take a new class. Try something you’ve never done before.

Related: American Heart Month: Lowering Your Risk of Heart Disease >>

Staying Fit After 50

No one expects you to exercise like you did when you were 30. In fact, it’s probably not safe. As you age, your muscles and tendons naturally get tighter. Your joints have more years of wear and tear.

It’s important to listen to your body and know your limits. If you’re taking any medications or have a chronic condition, be sure to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Here are some safe exercises to begin with:

  • Move More: Start simple and move more doing your everyday activities. Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, walk the dog, or take up a hobby that requires you to be active like gardening or dancing. 
  • Take a Walk: It’s convenient, enjoyable, and easy to do. When the weather is nice, head outside! The sun will lift your spirits. On cold or dreary days, walk on a treadmill while you listen to music, watch a favorite show, or walk and talk with a friend.
  • Use Machines: Stationary bikes and elliptical machines provide low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints while getting your heart rate up.
  • Start Strength Training: Muscle tone and bone density naturally decrease with aging. Lifting weights, taking a strength training class, or using resistance bands are great ways to strengthen muscles and bones, which in return helps reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
  • Swim: If you have access to a pool, swim alone or join a group class to get both low-impact and full-body exercise.

Related: Benefits of Staying Physically Active As You Age >> 

Bonus Tip: Getting Quality Sleep

Lack of sleep impacts many things, from memory and emotions to activity levels during the day.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most sleep problems are a result of snoring, medication side effects, or an underlying medical condition like acid reflux. Start getting a better night’s sleep by uncovering the root of the problem and addressing the issue with your doctor.

End the day in a calming space by practicing relaxation methods so you wake up refreshed and ready to go.

An Active Lifestyle at Otterbein Granville

Located on over 90 acres of beautiful Ohio countryside, Otterbein Granville is a thriving life plan community providing a safe, revitalizing environment for active older adults. Living options include independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and short-term rehab. 

The Otterbein Granville Wellness Center includes an aquatic center with a heated pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center with a variety of classes. Trained staff are on hand to help residents with balance, strength, and aerobic activities.

Learn more about how Otterbein Granville can motivate you to stay active and engaged.

Learn More About Otterbein Granville