For anybody who is over the age of 65, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes a week of physical activity that includes a mix of cardio, strength and balance exercises.
As we age, however, it gets harder to find the motivation to work out. Getting together with a group of friends several times a week to exercise is a great way to hold each other accountable. In fact, working out with friends can be a fun, affordable and social way to increase your odds of reaching your fitness goals.
Consider reinventing how you and your friends spend happy hour with the following ideas:
Group fitness classes: Check out community-based fitness programs that can help you establish a social connection, make new friends and stick to a plan.
Explore new activities: Try Pilates, Zumba, paddle boarding, pickleball, tennis or outdoor yoga as different ways to move your body. The mental challenge of learning a new activity can help keep your memory sharp and slow cognitive aging.
Set goals: Whether it is achieving weight loss, increasing strength or lowering blood pressure, setting goals and tracking them provides structure.
Find a workout buddy: Having a friend of similar physical ability and with comparable workout goals can provide motivation.
As with any exercise program, listen to your body and start slowly. Exercise can add years to your life and motivate you to travel, spend time with family and pursue other hobbies. (Once you get started, you just may not feel quite as guilty having that occasional cocktail at happy hour.)
Laurel Famigletti is an area resident and owner of EndorP.H.I.T, where she provides virtual group fitness classes, in-home personal training and virtual nutrition coaching.