In the new year, maybe you’ve made some resolutions—and perhaps one of them is to start prioritizing your physical health, fitness, and wellness.
This is an admirable goal, and the great news is that you can achieve it by making small, consistent changes that add up over time. It’s an incredibly important goal, too — as people age, staying active has tremendous physical and mental health benefits, and can dramatically improve quality of life.
So, how do you get started? Here are Ventana’s tips to help you get on the right track, stay committed, and work towards a healthier, happier future.
Tip #1: Start Out Comfortably
One of the key mistakes people make when starting an exercise, nutrition, or wellness program is pushing themselves too much, too soon. It’s an easy trap to fall into; we want results quickly, and are feeling a surge of motivation, so we try to jump-start our process by going all-out from Day One. The problem is, this kind of approach can easily lead to injuries and setbacks that actually prevent you from reaching your goals.
The key is to start small and make consistent, slow-and-steady progress, day after day. Listen to your body before, during, and after physical exercise, so you’re aware of how vigorously you can push yourself. Take part in activities that feel comfortable to you, so you’re never in situations where you’re in over your head. Opt for low-level activities — even something as simple as walking around the house, or light stretching.
The more light activities you do over time, the more you can slowly but surely add additional activities and effort to your routine, creating a safe path toward getting where you want to be.
Tip #2: Set Attainable Goals
Building off Tip #1, this provides a measurable framework to not only monitor your progress, but also to firmly establish a safe routine that prioritizes long-term progress over short-term spikes.
Feeling as though you’ve accomplished a goal is a great, rewarding feeling, but it’s vital to set goals that are within your physical comfort level. As described above, it’s no good if you set highly ambitious goals and hurt yourself during the first couple weeks of your routine.
Setting attainable, long-term goals helps you keep your big picture focus in mind and go about things in a methodical, achievable way. Depending on your body’s current capacities, being active at the start can be as simple as standing upright for 30 seconds a day or taking a brisk stroll. So, setting attainable goals for improvement in these examples would be to gradually increase the amount of time you stand each day, or to add an extra minute or two to your daily walk at the end of every week.
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Tip #3: Find an Activity Partner
One of the best strategies for staying active and holding yourself accountable to reach your wellness goals is finding someone (or multiple people) to partner with, so you can motivate each other and celebrate your collective successes. Doing so helps you stay encouraged if you have days or weeks when progress doesn’t come easily, and it helps you create a routine you’re more likely to stick to, because you’re not the only one involved.
Living in a luxury community like Ventana, you’ll have access to a variety of classes and wellness programs, and can easily find others who are looking to set fitness goals and stay active. Meeting a friend or neighbor for an after-dinner walk or morning yoga class can help you stay on track, socialize, and meet new people!
Tip #4: Get Creative with Exercise
The popular conception of a fitness lifestyle may not be your thing — it isn’t for many people. That doesn’t mean you can’t become more active, it just means you have to think differently about what “activity” could mean for you.
Things like gardening, shopping, hiking, swimming, bike riding, tai chi, cooking, dancing, and other enjoyable pursuits can increase your activity levels in ways you’ve never realized.
This ties in to the idea of setting attainable goals: If you know that running on a treadmill, lifting weights, or doing push-ups and sit-ups isn’t for you, finding alternative ways to move your body can be a key strategy for you to develop an exercise plan that works.
Tip #5: Take a New Class
Luxury senior living communities — especially Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) such as Ventana — provide a variety of classes and activities ideal for promoting your physical and mental wellbeing.
Among many other amenities and services, Ventana offers a state-of-the-art fitness center and wellness center, where you can explore new ways of staying active that you have always wanted to try. Expert-led classes such as aqua aerobics, yoga, pilates, strength training, and more gives Members a chance to stay active in fun, positive group settings.
Tip #6: Listen to Your Body
Again, it’s important that you listen to your body and never push yourself through any pain you may experience during physical activity. It’s important to set goals and work towards progress, but only if you’re doing so in a safe manner that protects your long-term health.
Maintaining physical activity is just as important as properly resting and recuperating from activities. Proper rest, recovery, nutrition, and sleep can play as large a role in promoting your wellbeing as exercise.
Active Senior Living at Ventana
Ventana provides Members with a wide array of Member Programs and options for physical activity — including a variety of fitness options and classes, access to downtown and the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area, beautiful outdoor areas, and abundant opportunities to socialize and meet new activity partners in the CCRC’s thriving community.