If you are over the age of 50, leading a sedentary lifestyle can be extremely unhealthy. Even if you've neglected to get physical activity for most of your adult life, you can still make a big difference in your overall health if you start now. Of course, you should never start a new workout without the advice from your physician. You don't want to hurt yourself, and your doctor knows what your limitations might be.
Going to the gym doesn't need to be stressful. Be sure to pick a gym close to where you live. Visit the gym, take a tour and ask questions of the staff before you even consider signing up as a gym member. Many gyms in the Denver area have senior programs, which are there to help you save money and keep you safe. Don't worry about asking too many questions, or being too demanding. It's your right to get your money's worth, and to be safe and happy while working out at the gym.
If you've decided not to enlist the help of a certified physical trainer, there are some things you should know, so you can be sure you are getting the most out of your workout at the gym. You don't want to end up wasting either your time or money at the gym!
Too much socializing at the gym can be the biggest waste of time at the gym. Sure, it's nice to have a gym buddy, but your gym buddy is there to help motivate you and help you feel like you aren't working out among a big group of strangers. It's also nice to meet new friends at the gym, but first and foremost, you are there to get fit and stay healthy.
You also need to be sure you are getting a total body workout. Cardio and some weight training should both be part of your routine. A good idea would be to do cardio some days, and weight training on other days, so you aren't over exerting yourself, and to make sure your muscles get a break every few days. Hit the elliptical or treadmill, and pay attention to your heart rate. Add repetitions gradually to your weight routine to lose fat and tone your existing muscle, or add more weight slowly over time to build muscle.
Not working out long enough at one time can be a waste of your gym time. Stay on the treadmill or elliptical for at least 15 to 20 minutes, 3 days a week, or break it up with the weights. That way, you know you are even getting the amount of physical activity you need to stay healthy. You also need to go at least 3 times each week. Space out those days with a resting day in between. On those “off” days, you should also try to fit in some light activity, such as taking a leisurely walk around your neighborhood, and stretching.