Recently, I was inspired by an article that told an incredible story of a woman named Teresa who at 103 years old continues to get her regular exercise at her local gym. Teresa feels good because she exercises three to four times a week, and even puts on makeup and jewelry when she works out. Even at her age, she continues to prioritize her health and according to the article, she calls the gym her ‘happy place’ because that is where she meets her friends. Not only is this beneficial for her health, but it has created a community for her as well.
You can watch the news report on YouTube here:
Does this inspire you as much as it inspires me? There are no excuses! If Teresa can prioritize her health and fitness at 103-year-old, surely those of us that are younger can do the same. The article reporting on Teresa’s story mentions that even people who have been sedentary but start exercising in their 80s can increase their health benefits exponentially and their life expectancy is improved.
As we age, staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes even more crucial. Regular exercise plays a vital role in keeping our bodies and minds in optimal condition as we navigate through our 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. As we age, our bodies go through various changes, such as a decline in muscle mass, bone density, and metabolism. This can lead to weight gain, reduced strength, and increased risk of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. However, regular exercise can help counteract these effects and promote healthy aging. Teresa is definitely onto something! She is aging with grace.
Exercise is not only important for physical health but also for mental well-being. It has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and improve brain function, including memory and concentration. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” hormones, helping to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.
The American Heart Association and other health organizations recommend that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises on 2 or more days per week. When you break that down, that is just 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days a week or 15 minutes of vigorous activity, 5 days a week. That is something all of us can do!
With the warm weather and longer days of summer, it’s the perfect time to take your exercise routine outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature while staying active. Exercising outdoors not only provides physical benefits but also offers mental and emotional well-being. So, if you’re looking for some fun and refreshing ideas to get moving in the great outdoors, here are some suggestions for exercising outdoors in the summer:
Hit the trails and explore the beauty of nature while getting a great workout. Hiking is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise that also challenges your muscles as you navigate through different terrains. Look for local trails or nature reserves in your area but don’t forget to pack water, snacks, and lather on that sunscreen! You’ll be all set for an adventure in the wilderness.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach or have access to one, take advantage of the sand and waves for a scenic outdoor workout. Activities like beach volleyball, beach soccer, or even a brisk walk or jog along the shoreline can provide an excellent cardiovascular workout while enjoying the sun and sea breeze. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be taking the dogs with you on your walk along the beach. My dogs love the water! The resistance offered by the sand also adds an extra challenge to your muscles, making it a fantastic way to tone your legs and core.
Outdoor Yoga or Pilates
Take your yoga or Pilates practice outside when the weather warms up and enjoy the benefits of stretching and strengthening in a natural setting. Many parks or beaches offer outdoor yoga or Pilates classes during the summer months, or you can bring your mat and practice on your own, even in your backyard! The fresh air and peaceful surroundings can help you relax and rejuvenate.
Summer is the perfect time to indulge in water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, or swimming. These activities not only provide a great cardiovascular workout but also engage your muscles as you navigate through the water. Plus, the refreshing feeling of being in the water can be incredibly invigorating on a hot summer day. Just make sure to follow water safety guidelines and wear appropriate gear, such as a life jacket.
Biking is a fantastic way to explore your neighborhood, parks, or nearby trails while getting an excellent cardiovascular workout. You can ride solo or with a group, and you can choose between road biking or mountain biking, depending on your preference and skill level. Biking is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints and can be a fun way to enjoy the summer scenery.
Outdoor Circuit Training
Take your strength training routine outdoors by creating your own circuit workout using park benches, stairs, or other outdoor structures. You can incorporate exercises like push-ups, step-ups, triceps dips, and lunges to create a full-body workout. The fresh air and change of scenery can add excitement to your routine and make your workout more enjoyable.
Gardening is not only a productive and fulfilling hobby but also a great way to stay active in the summer. Tending to your garden involves activities like digging, planting, weeding, and watering, which can provide a good workout for your muscles and also help improve flexibility and balance. Plus, you get to enjoy the beauty of nature and reap the benefits of your hard work with a beautiful garden.
Remember to always stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and appropriate gear, and listen to your body while exercising outdoors in the summer. If you’re new to any of these activities, start slowly and gradually increase your intensity and duration to avoid injuries. Exercising outdoors in the summer can be a fun and refreshing way to stay active and make the most of the warm weather. So, lace up your shoes, grab your sunglasses, and head outside for a fun-filled workout while getting your daily dose of vitamin D!