A healthy and balanced diet is always important, but when you’re trying to stay in shape and keep a trim figure as you grow older, exercise is vital. Nothing makes you feel young like a good blast of endorphins from exercising!

But no matter what your age, an exercise routine isn’t something you can jump into at full speed—in order to make it effective in the long term, you need to do a little planning. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure that your workout will be a success!

  • Stay within your limits: Make safety your priority, and check with your doctor to make sure you’re ready for exertion before you hit the gym. Don’t push yourself too hard at first. Pace yourself when exercising, and always stretch before and afterwards. This will reduce buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, and will help you feel less sore the next day. Always get a good night’s sleep. Being well rested will give you more energy during the day and make it easier for your body to recover between workouts.
  • Folding Exercise PeddlerGo with company: Having a workout buddy always makes exercise more fun. When you have a friend to talk with, the strain you might be feeling while exercising will feel less intense. If you’ve never done any serious exercise before, it might be a good idea to meet with a trainer once or twice when starting out. They can help you design a workout routine that best fits your needs, and tell you if you’re trying things that are too strenuous or unsafe. Seeing a trainer is also a good way to stay motivated and really stick with the exercise program you’ve selected.
  • Personalize it: Creating an exercise routine isn’t just about which muscles you want to tone; it can also be a big help in staving off some of the health issues commonly associated with aging. If you’re looking to improve your cardio and circulatory health, try endurance exercises, such as walking, running, swimming, or bike riding. To keep yourself limber, try yoga or other stretching exercises.

    As you get older, your body naturally loses some of its muscle mass. To prevent this you can do strengthening exercises such as weight lifting, which will build muscle. Endurance exercises like running or bike riding can be done outside, (as long as the weather’s nice.) If your routine happens to require weights or other exercise equipment you’ll have to do most of your working out indoors. The gym is of course a good place for this, but there’s plenty of equipment available that lets you exercise in your own home. From weights, to exercise peddlers, to inflatable exercise balls, it’s never been easier to stay fit without leaving your house!

Once you’ve fine-tuned your routine, you’ll be able to start enjoying all the benefits exercise can provide. Not only will it keep you looking fit, but it’s been proven to prevent or delay diabetes and heart problems, reduce arthritis pain, improve balance and flexibility and relieve stress.