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Fitness Tips from Springmoor’s Director of Health & Fitness Kari Richie

We all know there are many great reasons to exercise. Benefits include helping ward off chronic disease, keeping your muscles and bones strong, boosting your happiness, and even helping you strengthen your connections with others. But if you still struggle to be active, you’re in good company.

Among adults who are 75 and older, 35% are inactive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this means they’re not physically active beyond the basic movements needed for daily life.

If you’re experiencing greater health issues as you age, you may be more reluctant to exercise. Energy levels often decrease—and aches and pains may increase—as the years go by. With the right support and motivation, you can adapt to these changes and stay active in ways that are appropriate for you.

Most seniors will benefit from setting a goal of at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. This is only slightly more than 20 minutes per day. This commitment may seem more manageable if you think about it as about the same amount of time you spend watching one movie.

All moderately intense movement counts toward your weekly goal, and you can break up your fitness sessions into as many shorter sessions as you like. The type of exercise that is usually best is the kind you enjoy and will do often.

If 150 minutes per week seems like a daunting target and you feel your fitness motivation slipping, follow the steps below to help you get back on track—and stay there. Making exercise a habit as essential as brushing your teeth is one of the key methods for being active for life. You might even find you’re looking forward to your workouts—and how great you feel when you incorporate more movement into your daily routine.

Step #1: Set Fitness Goals that Are Appropriate for You (Hint: Smaller Is Better)

Setting goals that are too big may dampen your motivation. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals can bolster your efforts. S.M.A.R.T. goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic, and Time-Bound. Example: “I will walk for 20 minutes after dinner each day.”

Remember to write down your goals. Post them somewhere you’ll see them often, such as the refrigerator door.

Starting small and increasing your efforts incrementally help you build your confidence and your physical stamina. Your fitness routines will likely become easier, and you’ll enjoy them more.

Step #2: Find Activities You Truly Like

You’ve heard this before, but it’s worth repeating. Numerous studies have found that enjoyment is a major predictor for whether individuals stick to their exercise routines. Ideally, moving your body should be a fun and rewarding activity.

Focusing on self-improvement, better health, skill mastery, or strengthening relationships through exercise tends to help you maintain your motivation. Focusing on weight loss or using food as your primary reward for completing your workouts can be counterproductive and have a negative effect on your relationship with exercise.

Step #3: Hold Yourself Accountable—or Find Someone Who Will

If you have a hard time motivating yourself, find a workout buddy! Exercising with someone else is a tried-and-true strategy for many. It’s much harder to skip that class, walk, or swim if you’ve told a friend you’ll meet them there.

Let your commitment to supporting others help you stay true to yourself.  You and a friend or partner can encourage each other and collaborate to set goals.

Springmoor offers something for everyone, right here on our campus! Talk a walk with a friend around our beautiful grounds. Our 43-acre campus offers paved walking trails with shade and a bounty of mature trees and other plant life to enjoy.

If you need a form of physical activity that’s easy on the joints, our heated saltwater pool may be the ticket. Schedule a private swim or join us for one of our many aquatics classes.

Some folks thrive on the competitive elements of games and forget they’re even exercising. Due to Raleigh’s mild climate, residents enjoy putting, croquet, and shuffleboard year-round. Ping pong is a fun past time regardless of the weather.

Too hot, cold, or wet to get outside? Indoor fitness options abound in our Pathways Wellness Center. Whatever your current fitness level or preferred type of activity, we probably offer a class you’ll enjoy.

Cardio, tai chi, yoga, strength training, and much more are available. You can also use the exercise equipment on an individual basis or work out with a personal trainer.

Members of our waitlist can contact Kari Richie, Director of Health and Fitness at or 919-848-7147 to make a reservation to join us for one of our many wellness activities. We offer dozens of exercise classes on an ongoing basis, as well as fitness-related events and educational opportunities.

Our monthly service package allows you to spend less time doing things like dealing with health insurance paperwork and more time doing all of the things that bring you the most joy. From 24-hour security and emergency call service to chef-prepared meals, life is better at Springmoor!

To learn more about our active senior living community, call us at 919-848-7080 or click here to request a personalized tour or an information packet. We look forward to speaking with you soon about all that Springmoor has to offer!



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