Fellowship Square Celebrates National Senior Health and Fitness Day with Get Fit and Healthy Tips
This May 27 marks the 27th annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day. Designated as the last Wednesday in May, this day has become the largest health and wellness event for older adults. While many public events that typically would have been held in celebration of National Senior Health and Fitness Day have been cancelled due to COVID-19, it is still a great time to recognize the importance of health and fitness. Fellowship Square offers seniors some easy ways to kick off their own health and fitness routine.
Plan and Prepare for Success — The key to any solid fitness and health regime starts with some detailed planning and prep. While jumping out of bed announcing “I want to lose 30 pounds!” or “I’m going to start eating healthy!” are great goals, without the foundation of how those goals are going to be achieved, they can easily fall by the wayside. For weight loss and eating healthy goals, it’s important to focus on nutrition. Planning out the grocery list (and sticking to it!), prepping fresh produce so it’s ready to grab and eat, and creating make-ahead meals to make dining throughout the week more convenient are all great ways to set one’s self up for success!
Set Realistic Goals — It’s fantastic to envision the end goal (such as losing 30 pounds to help ease joint pain or relieve symptoms of other ailments, or feeling more energetic to play with the grandkids), but big goals can sometimes seem daunting and discouraging. So on the way to that big end goal, it’s a good idea to build in some mini milestones to celebrate. For example, with that 30 pound goal, celebrate with a (ideally non-food) mini reward at each 10-pound weight loss mark. This can help seniors self-motivate to keep reaching for that next goal marker. For goals such as “start eating healthy,” or “have more energy,” it’s a good idea to keep a journal of energy levels, sleep quality, mood, etc. or a food diary to track what and how much is being eaten each day. For a healthy eating goal, talking to a doctor about an ideal calorie intake and high-quality foods to incorporate can help this goal more tangible.
One Day at a Time — It’s important to realize that new habits take time to form and changes don’t happen overnight. Especially for seniors and “creatures of habit” that have been doing things the same way for a very long time, even small changes can seem like a big deal. Seniors should take each new change on the way to a lifelong healthy eating and fitness regimen day by day and only make one major change at a time. It’s also important to create changes based on one’s own personality type. For example, giving up one’s favorite fried foods and vowing to exercise every day may be too overwhelming for many, but could work for those that thrive on the “all or nothing” cold turkey approach. For those that require accountability to get motivated, seeking a program, an app, or even an accountability buddy can be the key to success.
Don’t Give Up — As with any life change, there may be setbacks or days when fitting in fitness or skipping the cupcake at a social gathering seems futile. It’s okay to get off track. What’s essential to the end result is getting back on track! However, seniors should always listen to their bodies when it comes to getting enough of the right nutrition sources and not pushing the limits of their physical exertion too far. So a rest day or even a “cheat” meal should certainly be included in a fitness or health routine, but just remember to get back on track after a setback and keep that end goal in mind.
Before vastly changing up a health or fitness routine, Fellowship Square encourages seniors to speak with their doctor for advice and a plan based on their specific medical history and current health status. Whether on May 27 or any day, there is no time like the present to take charge of one’s health and fitness. Getting healthy and fit at any age can improve quality of life in so many wonderful ways!