Healthy Aging: How to Set Fitness Goals to Stay Young

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It's more important than ever to focus on fitness goals, proper nutrition, and good health as we age. It’s never too early — or too late — to set healthy aging goals.    

Why Should I Set Fitness Goals as I Age?

"Both short and long-term goals that relate to physical activity are healthy at any age, and especially for those in their senior years,” says Ron Chamberlain, PhD, a licensed sports psychologist with Intermountain Sports Medicine.  

  1. Goals give you the motivation to get more physically active and find the right activity to help accomplish your goals.  
  2. Keeping your body in motion helps maintain overall health — mental, emotional, social, and physical health. 
  3. Setting and achieving goals gives personal satisfaction and engages both the mind and body.       

Goals and motivation are linked 

"I tell people to try and find a personal reason or purpose to be active and then set appropriate goals,” says Dr. Chamberlain. “Maybe you want to get down on the floor and play with your grandchildren, improve your golf swing, participate in the Senior Games, or lose weight for a vacation. Find your motivation and then set some goals.” 

“Healthy aging is accomplished by continuously setting goals to improve yourself throughout a lifetime,” he adds. “Goals gives us something to be passionate about at any age.” 

Opportunities are everywhere 

There are activities, classes, teams, and groups within communities that are sure to fit your lifestyle needs no matter how old or young you feel.  

Dr. Chamberlain suggests activities like the Huntsman World Senior Games, the Utah Summer Games, walking/biking trails, athletic clubs, yoga classes, golf courses, hiking trails, pickle ball courts, and LiVe Well Centers. There are even marathons and triathlons with seniors participating and having the time of their lives.

“Utah has many resources that encourage a healthy, active lifestyle,” he says. 

You’re never too old to try something new  

Those unhappy moments some of us experienced in sports as a youth can be overcome later in life. The great thing about embracing activity later in life is that sports and physical activities are more focused on fun, rather than competition. Self-consciousness and inhibitions also tend to fade with age. If it’s not enjoyable, try something new.   

Visit an Intermountain LiVe Well Center 

 Would you like a health assessment before you begin a fitness program? Consider visiting a LiVe Well Center to help assess where you are at and know what you need to focus on. Then find the activities you love, your niche, and keep working on your goals.  
 
Learn more about the services offered by visiting livewellcenter.org