Fitness: The Best Investment You can Make
Many people view fitness as a chore or a duty or a nuisance. After all, working out and eating well aren’t any fun, right? But as you get older, have retired or are thinking about retirement, don’t you want to spend these wonderful years as enjoyably as possible? Wouldn’t you like to stay young forever?
Nonsense, you say. Staying young forever? Ridiculous. Well perhaps I did overstate my case – but not by much. In fact, you can stay youthful forever. There really is a fountain of youth, and it is called fitness.
Study after study shows that regular exercise and a good diet can slow down the effects of aging. The research is clear and compelling that fitness can help prevent or improve diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, depression, and a host of other illnesses. There is new and interesting research saying that fitness may play a role in preventing or slowing down Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive declines. If that’s not enough, fitness brings more energy, better sleep, better skin, more independence, greater self-confidence, reduces risk of falling, and decreases visits to the doctor and healthcare costs.
And beginning a fitness plan is easy. Start a walking program, right now. Do some stretches every day. Work on your balance, bit by bit. Try some yoga or tai chi. Play with you dog or your kids or your grandkids. Go for a hike or a bike ride. Anywhere you start is great, as long as you do start!
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends between 2 ½ and 5 hours per week of moderate exercise for most older adults. A well-designed regular program of cardiovascular, strength, balance and flexibility exercises will bring lifelong benefits for adults of any age. While exercise does not have to be in a gym to be effective, some professional guidance will help to make exercise more successful, enjoyable, and safe.
Over the years, you have probably invested money to provide for yourself in the future. As you know, the market may go up or down. But by engaging in a fitness program, your investment in your own health and happiness – and the happiness of others, too – will be worth only more and more over time.
Jerome Stiller is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Senior Fitness Specialist, Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and has a Masters Degree in Psychology. He specializes in adults age 40 and over. You can reach him at stillerfitness.com or 303-885-3531.