How to Start Exercising Again After the Holiday Season

Healthy living for seniors

Between holiday parties, gift shopping, and time with family, many enter the month of January and realize they haven’t exercised in weeks. With so much time away from one’s exercise regimen, heading back to the gym can feel like starting over. This is especially the case for seniors, who may already struggle with physical limitations.

If you’ve gone an extended period of time without exercising, don’t worry: there are plenty of great tips teaching seniors how to start exercising again after the holiday season.

How to Start Exercising Again After the Holiday Season

Put exercise back into your calendar

When you don’t budget your time, it’s all too easy to say you’ll start moving the next day, or the day after that. However, if you add half an hour of exercise to your daily schedule, you will be more likely to follow through with your plan and hit your minimum allotted time for physical activity.

Creating a routine is not only great for finding time for exercise, but for your mental health. On average, seniors who have a scheduled structure in their day have a higher sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Start simple

Let’s say that, before the holiday season, you ran a mile every other day as your form of exercise. With January underway, you may be ready to throw on your running shoes and hit the treadmill. However, it’s important to recognize that even just three weeks can carve minutes off your normal mile time and leave you feeling tired sooner.

Don’t be discouraged by this face. Pushing yourself too hard too fast can lead to injury. Instead, start with a simpler exercise routine for a few days or weeks. Run a shorter distance, lift lighter weights, practice easier yoga poses. Whatever your physical activity of choice is, start simple, and consider exercising for a shorter period of time. As the days go by, extend your exercise time and slowly start to challenge yourself.

Have an accountability buddy

Everything is better with a loved one at your side—including exercise. Not only is going to the gym or for a walk together a great way to spend more time with a friend or family member, it is also the best way to hold yourself accountable. When you exercise on your own, you may be inclined to push back your schedule or exercise for a shorter period of time.

Doing it alongside a friend, however, encourages you to keep on track. You are there to motivate your loved one, just as they are there to motivate you. This will yield better, longer-lasting results.

Exercise for seniors

Don’t forget to stretch before and after

As you ease back into a regimen of physical activity that works for you, don’t forget to stretch before and after. Stretching before a workout increases blood glow, gets oxygen flowing, and prepares your body for physical movement. Stretching afterward helps release tension in your muscles that could lead to soreness and bring down your blood pressure.

Incorporate time for stretching before and after your workout into your pre-existing exercise regimen. All you need is five to 10 minutes for a noticeable difference and help avoid injury.

Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand

As you adjust your fitness routine, don’t forget to also adjust your diet after the holiday season. While we all love loading up on sugar and fat during the holiday season, it doesn’t allow us to be our best selves. Eating a quality diet and staying hydrated with plenty of water gives us the energy we need to support our muscles.

In the new year, get support at home

Diet and exercise help you feel good, but as an older adult, you may need more than healthy habits to support your lifestyle. Whether you struggle with mobility or slipping memory, the helping hand of an at-home caregiver will make your life easier.

The professionals at Home Care Powered by AUAF are here to help with your caregiving journey. For more information, give us a call at (773) 274-9262.

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