Senior man stretching before a run
Staying Active, Healthy Aging

Exercise is Your Ally

Some may say that finding the motivation to exercise is harder than exercise itself. Exercise may be viewed as a chore and something that comes along with a strict routine. However- Sports Medicine Physician, Terrence C. Tsui, DO, with Bayhealth Orthopedics, Dover, suggests taking the “work” out of “working out” and finding the fun side of physical activity.

“Exercise has a lot of benefits when it comes to stress levels and hormones. It makes people feel more positive and benefits an individual’s overall health. Your muscles are breaking down every day, the only way to slow that down is by exercising and staying active,” stated Dr. Tsui. 

Finding the Motivation

Finding the motivation to exercise is easier said than done; everyone’s comfort level is different. Thus, everyone will find comfort in a different style of exercise. “Everyone has different hobbies. Try to find an activity that is fun for you and expand off of said activity,” said Dr. Tsui.

A friendly reminder: exercise does not have to be draining nor difficult. “Walking, riding a bike, or even walking at the mall are good activities; you don’t have to go to the gym to work out,” Dr. Tsui continued.

Another friendly reminder: you can exercise and energize with a buddy! “Finding friends and activities you can do as a group is helpful when finding the motivation to exercise. For example: bowling is a low activity exercise but it is still good physical activity,” said Dr. Tsui.

Turning Small Steps into Leaps

Starting points when it comes to exercise are very different for everyone. Starting small and working your way up to a more rigorous workout routine can be beneficial for both your mind and body. “Here’s an example: don’t plan on running three miles, just plan on running half a mile and then your brain will kick in and say ‘I can do this.’ Start with smaller goals and then work your way up to bigger ones,” said Dr. Tsui.

Speaking from his own experience, Dr. Tsui says that exercise allows him to feel “less stressed and energized.”

The Importance of Balance

When it comes to exercise, it is easy to feel as though we may not be doing enough or we need to fill our free time with exercise. However, having balance is just as important as being active. “It is always important to have a balance, there is no set schedule for when you should have a rest day. You should not be working out every day because that can increase your risk for injury. Rest days are important because it allows your muscles to recover,” said Dr. Tsui.

Finding the Time

No one has the same schedule as another person so finding the time to work out is difficult for everyone. But rest assured- when it comes to exercising, a little bit can go a long way. “Set out time in your daily schedule, whether it’s five minutes or thirty minutes to do a certain exercise, go to the gym or take a walk,” continued Dr. Tsui.

Some Additional Advice

“Definitely find a hobby that you enjoy and use that as a way to exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy such as rock climbing or running a marathon, anything is better than nothing. Overall, exercising will decrease your risk for complications as you get older such as cardiovascular disease, strokes, heart attacks and injuries,” Dr. Tsui concluded.

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