The Bucket List


  • 03-31-2019

Adding to your bucket list is fun—so much to do. Where to go next? But make sure you'll be fit enough to do all that you've got on your list. Being proactive about your health and wellness means more than going to the doctor occasionally. Make the right choices on a daily basis. Eat well. Exercise. Look after yourself.


Okay, maybe you can't sing, dance and act—and feel it's too late to start. But unless you get active and stay fit your health may be under a triple threat from thebig three—heart and stroke, cancer, and diabetes-related issues. So if you want to be more active, talk to your doc about the types of exercise and physical activity that are right for you. Now you’re probably wondering how to get started. Zumba classes? Walks around the block? Or at least round the living room?


How can you fit more activity in and keep it going every day?

Basically, there are three keys to exercise success:

  1. Include physical activity in your everyday life. To experience all the health benefits of exercise, it’s important to do it regularly.  Think of ways to include physical activities throughout your day, such as in the morning before your schedule gets too busy, or before dinner—make it a priority. It's as important to your lasting good health as eating right and sleeping well. 
  2. Find ways to make physical activity easy and fun. Do what you enjoy. Love the outdoors? Try biking, swimming, or gardening. Snoe-shoeing if you're in a norhtern clime. Or join a gym club or find a senior or rec center in the winter. Even start a walking coffee club at your local mall (walk first/coffee after!). Make it social—invite someone to become your exercise buddy— play tennis or take a yoga class together. If you're not friends yet, you soon will be.
  3. Choose activities that might not seem like exercise: walk to a coworker’s office instead of calling or e-mailing. Park at the far end of the lot and walk (briskly) to the store.

Try all four types of exercise. When you start an exercise routine, iit's easy to fall into a rut of doing the same old thing every day. But, if you mix it up with lots of different activities, you are more likely to stick with the habit over time without getting bored. So choose from each of the four types:

  • Endurance
  • Strength
  • Balance
  • Flexibility


Plan for breaks in the routine. Your days probably vary, and that means that sometimes you will miss a few days of physical activity. Vacations, visitors, or unexpected events can interrupt your exercise routine. But get back on track instead of giving up! Your body—and probably your kids and your spouse—will thank you for it. And maybe your dog—walking the dog is wonderful exercise!


Try to remember the reasons you started exercising and the goals you set when you feel like you'd rather just read the paper...
Ask family or friends to help by encouraging you or exercising with you.
Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. You can change your mind. Try something comfortable or easier if you don’t like an activity you started.
Be flexible. If your family or grandkids are visiting, schedule your exercise break during their naptime, or take them with you when you go for a walk.

For more tips on starting—and sticking with—an exercise routine, visit the Go4Life® website.  Go4Life is an exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH. with exercises, success stories, and free materials to help you get ready, start exercising, and keep going (in all senses!).  

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