Health & Fitness

Walter Gretzky’s fitness tips for active seniors

fitness-tipsCanada’s favourite hockey dad, Walter Gretzky, knows how important it is to stay healthy and active—especially as we get older. Just because you’re over 60, doesn’t mean you can’t be in great shape, he says.

“The great thing about retirement is that you have the time to get in the exercise you need, just by going about your daily chores or making exercise part of your life,” he continued. “There are countless benefits to exercising, even if it’s only a few times a week.”

Take a look at Gretzky’s health and fitness tips for seniors:

• Talk to your doctor: No matter what your age is, you should always consult your doctor before you start any type of fitness regime. Ensure you are in good health and know your limitations.

• Make a date: One of the best ways to ensure you keep with your program, at any age, is to exercise with a buddy. Make a date with a friend three times a week to head out for a brisk walk, 30 to 45 minutes is ideal.

• Incorporate household and outdoor chores: Gardening and chores around the house can get your heart pumping. Pulling weeds, mowing the lawn and vacuuming get you moving.

• Walk it off: Park in one of the furthest spots when you go to the grocery store, or the mall—or leave the car at home all together. Doro, a company that makes cell phones specifically for seniors, suggests always bringing your cell phone with you when you go for a walk—especially if you are by yourself.

• Hop in the pool: Swimming is a great, low-impact way to stay active. Many community centres such as the YMCA offer water aerobics classes on a daily basis. If arthritis is a problem that stops you from enjoying certain exercises, a pool is a great alternative.

• Put on your dancing shoes: Aerobic dance classes are a fun way to stay active and are great exercise—as long as you don’t get too fancy and start jumping and jiving. Know your limits—if you are working out in a class, simply skip the jumps and march on the spot until the next move.

• Don’t forget the strength training: To keep your bones and joints healthy and strong, don’t forget to incorporate some strength training into your exercise routine. You can use free weights or elastic resistance bands and perform the moves right in your own living room.

• Make it fun: This is the most important thing to remember. We all know exercising can be a bit of a chore sometimes, but if you do something you enjoy, you are more likely to stick with it.

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