Aging Gracefully

 

It is inevitable that we are all going to age, and with this known fact there is a natural slowdown in our activities and lifestyle. But how we choose to do so is a large contributing factor to our quality of life.

 

For your parents and yourself, the number one goal should be to make healthy choices to increase the chances of living a longer, happier and healthier life. 

 

As a mom of four children, I keep active daily. This—along with being a personal trainer, marathoner and keeping up with my four littles—keeps me on the go. This is a part of life when your children are young because there is no time to take a break. However, as the children get older and I look at my parents in their seventies, I see that it can be a struggle for them to simply get motivated.

 

I look at the future and I understand how it can be a steady decline of activity that is part of life. My mother is still working an office job and for her to continue with this schedule and push herself to exercise is something she takes day by day. Some days are easy and I meet her at the gym and other days she finds it tough to balance work and fitness. My father, a retired guidance counselor, manages to exercise nearly every day to keep his body and mind healthy.

 

Mobility for both mom and dad is what keeps them smiling and medicine free, but this also has a lot to do with good genetics.

 

As you get older, it is natural to slow down. It is also completely normal to exercise less but this does not mean you can eliminate it altogether. Exercise will help to keep your heart healthy, your joints lubricated, decrease memory loss, along with increasing your immune system.

 

Exercise can help your parents and you to slow down the aging process. Let me share with you just how you and your parents can do just this and live the healthy, happy life you deserve!

 

Get on a schedule

 

If your parents are retired, it is likely they are without routine and with this it is easy to fall into a trap and not get anything accomplished. Gone are the days of work deadlines and balancing fitness in between. Talk to them about getting on a daily fitness schedule, possibly even hiring a trainer once a week to help them get on the right track. You can also have them list out their goals so they make clear what they hope to achieve.

 

I constantly review goals with my parents so they are lightly steered in the right direction!

 

Join active senior’s groups

 

Look for local active senior groups where you can make friends while getting your sweat on. There is no better way to bond then to do so while getting healthier.  his is also great for your parents because it allows them an opportunity to meet people with similar goals, lifestyle and defeating the aging process.

 

Go on an active senior’s trip

 

Instead of slowing down and playing bingo, get outdoors and go for a hike! Plan a trip that involves fitness or better yet look for an active senior’s trip so you can stay active with people in their golden years. My mother constantly signs up for hiking trips or bus trips to New York City to stay active with people in her age group. It’s integral to stay social as we get older for mental health and well-being!

 

Get social and share

 

Get involved with social media and share your activity with your friends and family. Some older individuals feel disconnected to the new wave of technology and social media but they may march to a different tune if they learn how to use it to their advantage.

 

Use social media to motivate you by sharing your fitness success. A picture of an active 70 year old speaks volumes and is a great way to pay it forward to motivate the amazing world around you!

 

Use technology to push you

 

Fitbit and the other wireless trackers are incredible tracking devices that help push you to the next level. Some days are more active than others, so a tracking device is a great way to become aware of your activity and get on track. This was a gift I gave both my parents so they would be aware of their daily activity and get moving! As a marathoner, I have one myself and I love how it helps me to get stepping.

 

Get yourself and your parents on track and remember: every step you take is one step closer to your goal!

 

Spend time with your grandchildren

 

It may seem so simple but this is seriously one of the easiest ways to get active without knowing it. Have your parents spend time with their grandchildren to kick up their activity level. My mother is literally drained after spending a day with me and my four kids. Children have what seems like limitless energy and this is a surefire way to get anyone moving. Just plan for activities and have a blast while creating memories!

 

As a trainer, helping people of all ages, shapes and sizes; I see retirement as an opportunity for another chance at fitness.

 

Use this “slow-down time” to focus on your fitness. If your parents are retired, help them use this time to focus on bettering their health so they can live their golden years to the fullest. Try and capitalize on this time to bond with them and seize the day.

 

There are countless ways to stay active, so make a change and start today!

 

Tara

Tara Zimliki is a nationally recognized weight loss expert, personal trainer, health coach, health writer and founder of Tara’s Bootcamp, the Premiere Bootcamp of New Jersey. Tara also runs her own blog, funfitmama.com