Fitness is one of the greatest things you can do for your health. Exercise can help you lose or maintain your optimal weight, improve balance, coordination, flexibility, muscle mass, aerobic capacity and even bone density. It can also reduce the risk of chronic diseases like COPD and diabetes.

The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that healthy adults include AT LEAST 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week and strength training a minimum of twice a week. I suggest that you also include core, balance and flexibility into your exercise program.

Before designing your personal fitness program, consider your fitness goals (lose weight, want to run a marathon, get stronger or just be healthier) and fitness likes and dislikes (hate running, but love swimming--like dancing, but not walking).

How do you get started?

  • First choose the time of day that is most convenient for you to workout. That's usually early morning or late afternoon and evening for working people. Scheduling your workouts is the key to adhering to a fitness routine. 
  • Next schedule in that 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week. (That's only 2 1/2 hours)  That's walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. You will have to allow a few minutes for stretching after.
  • You also should comply with the recommended minimum of two days of strength training. If you are only lifting weights twice a week you could do legs (the largest muscle group of the body), back and abdominals on one day, and the second day should include biceps, triceps, chest and shoulders.
  • Take at least one day off between workouts and always warm up (at least 5 minutes) before strength training.

When you have completed the workout you need to stretch out. Some examples would be:

  • Back Stretch over a ball
  • Sitting on the floor with the legs straight out in front, try touching your toes
  • Lie on your back and bring the knees to the chest (good for the lower back)
  • Lie on your stomach and hold yourself up by leaning on the elbows(sphinx stretch). The sphinx is a lower back strengthener.

Many people start training because they want to lose weight and have a good body image. I have found that as people start to age, they become more interested in their health and maintaining their independence.

What motivates you to workout?

Tags:Boomers Exercise

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Sibyl Adams, Seniority Matters’ featured fitness blogger, has spent three decades in the health and fitness field. She began competing in local body building events in 1980, and by 1983, she was second in her weight class in the International Arm Wresting Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica. Sibyl remained active in the body-building scene for more than a decade, while also teaching aerobics and running races. She retired from body building in 1990, but continued running competitively until 2004, when she suffered an ankle injury.

Today, Sibyl works full-time as a personal fitness trainer and is president of her own company, A Personal Touch Fitness. She is a certified Reiki master, a National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) Certified Trainer, and is currently pursuing a certification in yoga. She enjoys swimming, power-walking and playing with her grandchildren.

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