By Ginger Lambert, contributor
Your Netflix account gets more viewing than the beautiful outdoors?
Even though you have read all the research and know that aerobic exercise can lower your cholesterol, decrease your blood pressure, improve your appearance and stave off depression, you look for every excuse in the book for why you can’t exercise? Why not find an exercise partner to help keep you accountable? When you have a standing “exercise” date it will be harder to break if your partner is counting on you.
If you have a competitive streak, there are all kinds of races out there that you and your partner can do. Many of the entry fees for these races raise money for great causes too. Imagine winning a prize in your age group—I have seen an 80-year-old accepting a medal for his 5K race time with a wide grin on his face. Races, whether you run or walk, are a great motivational goal and typically require about six to eight weeks of training to get you race ready.
Bored with doing the same fitness routine? Check out the hundreds of YouTube videos available and exercise in the privacy of your living room. I often recommend “8 minute abs” to my clients. It’s a great way to firm up your core. When your core is strong, you can prevent a lot of lower back problems too.
If a class is more your style, check out what Betsy, a Tuesday participant at Fitness At Any Age, said, “Don’t be intimated by the whistle or the never-ending, ‘Let’s go!’ Ginger encourages all of us and adapts exercises to accommodate those in need. Her weekly classes vary in the tasks we must do and our sessions are always fun. I love the camaraderie and look forward to seeing my classmates each week.”
Spending time with other people is an important component of mental health, and an exercise class can provide a social outlet. Barb, another avid exerciser, said, “Ginger’s class gets me up and out the door on Tuesdays. You mix it up just enough to keep us all going.”
If a noisy, hard-body gym is not for you, check out a personal trainer. Some will even travel to your home, bringing their tools of the trade. Finding the trainer who fits with you and will take into account your own personal issues is key. A good personal trainer will take into account everything that is unique about you and tailor a plan accordingly. Nita had this to say after a couple of weeks of personal training, “I felt great after the session today. It feels like the benefits of my work with you are really starting to kick in! I feel my core muscles being more engaged as I just do stuff during the day, and moving around is just easier.”
There are so many types of classes to choose from. Hot yoga, Pilates, boot camp, Tabata—all are designed to get and keep you healthy. If the teacher inspires the class, you are more likely to return each week. Ask ahead to see if there is a free introductory class. And sometimes a walk in nature is just the thing for your soul and body.
Ginger Lambert is a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Check out her website, for information on fitness boot camp classes for any level.