When you have endured your fourth lockdown, it’s easy to feel worn out and worn down. A once full and active lifestyle slows to much more sedentary one while we wait to get through it.
Once a new routine has replaced your once-active one, either suddenly or by degrees, it can hard to immediately return to activity. Increased sitting begets increased sitting. Moves that once seemed easy are now more difficult, slower, or more painful. Decreased activity can also gnaw away at your self-confidence to be active.
Have all those hard-fought strength gains simply disappeared?
If you can relate to any of these feelings, the good news is that all is not lost. Just by reading this article, you are making the first steps to improve your physical and mental health. Let’s break down the next step: becoming more active.
Step 1: Make a date
You need support to find the right exercises to return to activity, especially if you have any chronic conditions or previous injuries. Sometimes, in the enthusiasm to get back into shape, we start at the place when we were at our fittest. This is the quickest route to injury, which only sets us back further.
Here are some better options:
- Find your nearest Living Longer Living Stronger program. Give them a call and make a date for your individual assessment. All Living Longer Living Stronger instructors are trained to work specifically with older adults and will give you a full assessment and write an individual program to suit your current needs
- Call your local gym – do they have a program that is specific to older adults?
- Fitness Australia list personal trainers – is there one that can come to your home?
- If you have any pain, make an appointment with a physiotherapist. They can support you with specific exercises to address your issues.
- Make some time for your own exercise program at home.
Step 2: Support networks
It’s much harder to break a commitment when it’s made to others. That’s why group support can be very beneficial. Including others in your activity helps everyone. This may be simply going for a walk with family, friends or neighbours.
Or it may be to share the best free workouts that can be found at Get Active Victoria or our very own Living Longer Living Stronger Exercise series (designed specifically for older adults). You don’t have to be in the same house to do them, but checking in and sharing your experience will certainly keep activity front of mind.
Step 3: Keep looking forward.
Yes, a sedentary lifestyle can creep in. Yes, it can be disappointing when what you were once easily able to do is a struggle. But you can turn this around. Strength and balance gains can return – often much quicker than the first time. While the initial steps may be challenging, you will remember the joy that the fresh air feels on your face, or the feeling of being strong, or simply feeling confident in activities of daily living.
Let’s start today!
If you want to find out more about the exercise options that best suit you, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Living Longer Living Stronger section, where you can see the list of qualified instructors and venues delivering Living Longer Living Stronger.