We asked for your exercise and fitness tips and you responded generously. Here are some of the best submissions. If one of these inspire you to get moving, let us know in the comments section below.
Should you decide to try out a tip, remember to consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.
LeaAnne, Henderson, Nev.
I take a deep water total workout class five mornings a week. It has improved my arthritis. I also broke my foot last year and instead of physical therapy, each day I took my regular class. You feel so much better and mentally fit.
Jack, Atlanta, Ga.
When running errands around town, I use my bicycle. My house is at the top of a hill, so in the beginning the return trip was excruciating. But now, after about three years, I can pedal up the hill with little huffing and puffing. When I went biking with my 12-year-old grandson last summer, I had to wait at the top of the hill while he pushed his bike! Granted, my bike has gears and the one he was on didn't, but still — I'm 68 and he's 12, and I beat him up the hill!
Cheri, Catawba, S.C.
Half the battle of staying fit is staying motivated. I keep a "fitness notebook," much like I keep a notebook full of favorite recipes. When I'm feeling less than motivated, I can flip open my notebook and find the perfect fitness recipe. I keep my workout DVDs, interesting articles I find on different types of workouts, articles about health, etc. It instantly gets my head back into the game.
David, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Walk a lot.
Megan, Wildwood, Mo.
Take Pilates classes on the Reformer a few times a week — it accomplishes strength training, flexibility and relaxation. Pilates is one exercise I feel I will be able to continue for the rest of my life. Just doing cardio or weight training, won't increase flexibility. Pilates keeps all of the body parts moving while building strength.
Loretta, Phoenix, Ariz.
I need to walk more, but my neighborhood is not too safe. It would be better to buy a treadmill to walk.
Aaron, Silver Spring, Md.
Life outside of the womb begins with the breath. Indeed, everything begins with the breath. Breathing exercises that increase oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output invigorate the body.
Follow this very simple breathing exercise and increase your vitality.
- Lie, sit or stand as relaxed as possible.
- Exhale while gently saying hhaaa, as if fogging the bathroom mirror.
- With abdomen relaxed and mouth closed, inhale into the lower abdomen.
- Repeat exhalation making the hhaaa sound, extend exhalation a little further than the first time.
- Relax abdomen as you inhale deeply, calming your mind.
- Repeat exhalation and inhalation sequence — extending the exhalation gradually each time, without straining.
This process clears the mind and increases mental focus.
Robert, McLean, Va.
During the winter, I walk every aisle of the grocery or hardware store to get in a little extra exercise while running errands.
Anne, St. Johnsbury, Vt.
Get a dog. I walk mine at least twice a day. When it comes to getting you out the door and walking, there's nothing more persuasive than a pair of big, brown doggy eyes.
Liz, White Plains, N.Y.
I work and don't have time to go to a gym or jog. For most of my adult life, that was my excuse for not exercising. But a few years ago, I made a fitness contract with myself: I want to watch my favorite nighttime TV show, I can only do so if I'm pedaling my exercise bike at the same time. By exercising and watching TV simultaneously, I have a 30-minute workout almost every day — and I'm a couch potato without being a couch potato.
Louisa, Miami, Fla.
I do tai chi, which is a common exercise among senior citizens in China. Tai chi is about movement, balance and flexibility. It doesn't require equipment or severe excursion. I can do tai chi at home or in my yard, and I can wear regular clothes. Tai chi is calming and meditative, but since I need to concentrate on the movements, which are like choreography, it's stimulating to my brain. I'm in my early 70s and I credit tai chi with keeping me fit, healthy and younger-looking and younger-feeling than most of my peers. I think tai chi is the perfect exercise for "age 50+" people.
Cindy, Alexandria, Va.
Exercise before work every morning. I go for a swim at the neighborhood YMCA, which is on my way to work and costs much less than a gym membership. I'm one of the first people there in the morning and it clears my head for the rest of the day.