Finding Affordable Ways To Stay Active and Healthy
As people age, mobility and flexibility become significant challenges, mainly if the individual does not focus on advancing or maintaining those skills. Too often, people decide to purchase overpriced and overcomplicated exercise equipment, only to leave it collecting dust in their basements or garages. While these pieces of machinery can become excellent and inconvenient shelving units or junk collectors, there is no need to invest in such contraptions to maintain or improve your physical fitness.
Why invest hundreds or thousands of dollars into a piece of gym equipment you might never use or lose interest in within the first six months. Too many people believe that to remain physically active and fit, they must use complex machinery and weights or subscribe to monthly gym programs or memberships, and the truth is so much simpler. Physical health depends on nutrition and routine movement. You can accomplish both with no more than your typical grocery budget and 30 minutes a day.
Go Shopping or Take a Walk
One of the most beneficial forms of exercise and oft-overlooked is walking. It is a cardiovascular workout that requires minor strain on the joints and muscles. With a pair of comfortable shoes and a pep in your step, you can experience moderate aerobic exercise that is heart-healthy.
The best part of walking is you can incorporate it into your daily chores. For example, go grocery shopping. It is best to go to the store with a list so you can minimize breaks during your outing. Also, when possible, take a round-about way to your aisle destination; for instance, walk every aisle regardless of need.
The goal is to reach a moderate walking speed. A quick way to tell if you are walking fast enough is to perform the singing test. For example, if you cannot sing your favorite song lyrics without taking a breath, but you can carry on a conversation or talk to a friend, you are walking at a moderate pace.
Explore the Possibilities in Your Home
Many people overlook the exercise possibilities in their homes. For example, if you have a basement or second level, take the stairs. Going up and down the stairs several times is an excellent workout, and it's free.
Additionally, you can use bottles or cans to make a set of DIY weights. For example, filling empty soda bottles with water or sand can provide enough weight variation for a decent workout. Old nylons or tights can also take the place of resistance bands.
If you want to exercise using your body weight, consider including a chair, stool, or counter in the routine. For example, a chair or stool is a great and safe way to practice squats. A counter can help you build enough strength in your arms and back to perform a pushup. Using the counter, perform a set of incline pushups. You can also start with the wall, working toward a more horizontal position.
Find Community Options
As a public health service, many communities offer free fitness classes, especially to seniors. You can check the local newspaper or government website to find out if anything is available. Additionally, you can check with local senior centers to see if they offer free or inexpensive classes.
Additionally, many cities have public pools, basketball or tennis courts, and hiking or biking trails. Swimming, sports, and cycling are all excellent forms of exercise, regardless of age.
Do you know of any other affordable ways to stay in shape? Leave a comment below.