If you’ve always heard the phrase, “Age is nothing but a number,” but finally understand what it means, then you’ve earned the right to celebrate National Senior Health & Fitness Day with gusto! Looking for new ways to stay physically and mentally active? Check out these 9 ideas that match fun with fitness (remember: always consult your personal doctor before starting any new activity):
- Switch from running to riding. If you’ve always been a runner or jogger but your knees are starting to feel the miles, switch to riding a bicycle. You’ll be able to spend as much time outdoors and your knees will thank you. If you’re having difficulties with your neck and back, consider getting a recumbent bike.
- Walk to nowhere. On days that you want to nix the adrenaline-stoking street course that challenges you to walk just a little farther each time, try putting in the steps at a destination such as the city zoo. In the springtime, when bad weather ruins your outdoor plans, go walking at your favorite museum. Either way you can get just as much exercise, with the added benefit of enjoying your surroundings.
- Cooking classes. Remember the days when you could eat a full order of nachos and your waistline didn’t have to pay for it? If you’re also a foodie, even the most accomplished chef can enjoy lighter cooking classes, especially those that modify sumptuous classics into healthier versions. To combine fitness with social time, you can host lighter fare dinner parties and still make your guests swoon with desserts like this low-fat version of crème brûlée.
- Take up tai chi. This ancient Chinese ritual of movement combined with controlled breathing is an outstanding way to reduce stress while increasing strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Its low-impact format reduces chances for injury, and you can adapt any pose to your comfort level. Tai chi doesn’t require equipment, so you can do it anywhere; try practicing outdoors for an extra mental lift.
- Spend the weekend stay-cationing. Use mass transit to tour and explore your own city. If trains and buses are readily available where you live, park your car in the garage and commute to renowned sights that out-of-towners love to visit. Since most transportation systems accommodate bicycles, you can even ride your bike from stops and stations to your destinations and back.
- Bear the weight. Exercises that pit your body against gravity are called “weight-bearing.” They’re a crucial component of fitness, especially in helping to maintain strong bones. If pumping iron doesn’t appeal to you, surely one of these weight-bearing activities will: dancing, racquet sports, brisk walking, yoga, hiking, tai chi (didn’t we just talk about this?), stair-climbing, or golf.
- Enter tandem or two-person sporting events. Have twice the fun with only half the effort! Most bike rallies welcome riders on tandem bicycles. You can also find run-bike-run duathlon competitions that allow a runner and a rider to enter in their age class as a team.
- Go an extra mile for the greater good. Get your gaming group together and participate in a fun walk or run benefiting your favorite charity.
- Join an adventurers club. If ziplines or amusement parks are more your speed, you can find a meetup group for like-minded enthusiasts. Wear a fitness tracker to keep an eye on how many steps you’ve logged or calories you’ve burned while out squealing, “Whee!” like a free-spirited kid taking a ride on the wild side.
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while you’re moving and shaking: 1) work out with a buddy; 2) wear proper clothing, especially footwear; and 3) download Teladoc’s mobile app so you’ll always have expert, high-tech health care at your fingertips. Our board-certified doctors are available any time, day or night, to diagnose illnesses and injuries and recommend treatments. When necessary, they can prescribe medications, and our mobile app can locate the closest pharmacy for you. We also partner with our members’ primary care physicians to provide you with the best possible care. When you need a doctor while you’re on the go, Teladoc won’t slow you down.
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