Haims: Small steps make a huge difference
There are few other communities where the summer activities are revered as much as here in our mountain communities. Regardless of age, people here love being outside and taking advantage of the many activities provided.
The warm weather has arrived, and people of all ages are getting outside. This past weekend I went mountain biking in Eagle. Donned with headphones and good tunes I made my way to the trailhead. Along the way, I passed many young families with kids in tow, a few teenagers holding hands, and numerous road and mountain bikers. As I passed the Golden Eagle Senior Center, I noticed a few people already attending to the raised gardens and cleaning off their backyard patio furniture. It seemed as if the whole community was taking pleasure in the warmth of the sun and outdoors.
Of course, we all know it’s better if you maintain your weight and keep up with exercise year-round blah blah. But, for those of us whose 30s and 40s is a decade or more behind us, weight maintenance and daily physical activity may have become a little more challenging. So, assuming that you now have a desire to get that creaky body moving and ready for some summer activities, here is some info you may want to be aware of.
Adults of any age need at least two and a half hours of moderate physical activity each week. Being active at least three days a week is a good goal. Activity levels are very personal, and people should find an activity that is appropriate for their fitness level. If you are not too active, start by walking or riding a stationary bike.
Also, if you have been more sedentary than active this winter, including activities that improve balance and reduce your risk of falling is imperative. Eagle County Healthy Aging has put together some great exercise opportunities that are appropriate for people of varying abilities and ages. At the Avon and Gypsum recreation centers along with the Edwards Field House, people can take advantage of Tai Chi, Yoga, and water aerobic classes.
If these offerings are not to your liking, try the local Power Punch boxing program currently offered at Hybrid Nation Martial Arts in Avon. The boxing class promotes agility, dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and will improve your total body strength.
For those who just want to get out of the house and explore our valley, Walking Mountains Science Center offers fabulous guided hikes and walks. They also provide summer youth science camps and adult seminars where your sense of wonder and curiosity will be broadened.
Keeping fit as you age does not mean you have to go to the gym or change your life drastically. Acknowledging that many age issues like muscle loss, deteriorating bone density, problems with balance, and declined strength are attributed to a lack in exercise and nutrition may be a good start to motivating change.
Our bodies are much better at repairing and maintaining itself when kept well-conditioned via a program of regular physical activity. If it has been a while since you’ve done regular physical activity, it’s important to start with a good evaluation of where you are right now. This will be your foundation for putting together an effective exercise and activity plan.
Integrating a bit of physical activity into your day can be as simple as doing some stretching exercises while watching TV or parking your car at the far side of the market and walking to the store as opposed to hunting for the closest parking space. A short walk around the block every day is far better that not walking at all. Small steps can make a big difference in your health.
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. He is an advocate for our elderly and is available to answer questions. His contact information is, http://www.visitingangels.com/comtns, 970-328-5526.