Everyday Fitness Tips to Support Healthy Aging

fitness tips

Life expectancy of an American born today averages 78.2 years. But what if someone told you there’s a group of people living in different places around the world who have found ways to extend their longevity significantly—and live happier? Welcome to successful aging in the Blue Zones, five regions on the Earth where specific lifestyle traits are working wonders—and you can take advantage of their fitness tips to help you live your best life right now.

Fitness tips for successful aging

• Get moving! People in the Blue Zones aren’t couch potatoes. In fact, “move naturally” is one of the chief common lifestyle traits shared by people in the five Blue Zones: Barbagia (a region of Sardinia); Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya Peninsula; Costa Rica; and Okinawa, Japan.

You won’t find them sitting for long period of time. They’re walking, bicycling, gardening, hiking, swimming, walking their dog, building things, and visiting friends. They are using their muscles and working their cardiovascular systems, great fitness tips for successful aging.

And while you may not live near lots of natural places to walk or hike, you can incorporate more movement in your daily routine as part of successful aging. Choose something you enjoy and can do daily. Walk around the block multiple times. Take the stairs every morning. Dance the twist with the radio on. The activity itself isn’t important. What matters is moving rigorously, increasing your breathing, and really feeling the effort, for five to ten hours a week.

• Try an “Exercise Snack.” No, it’s not a new kind of chip, it’s a short, easy form of exercise that can benefit you as much as a longer workout. Blue Zones residents do not “exercise,” they simply move naturally about every 20 minutes. So, try walking around the house a few times every hour. Wash dishes by hand. Stretch vigorously before lunch. Walk in place. And if you are dealing with mobility issues, you can modify these activities as needed.


Blue Zones Guide 

More fitness tips to work into your successful aging regimen:

  • Trade your office chair for an exercise ball. Prolonged sitting has been linked to chronic issues like back pain, sciatic nerve pain, depression, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Occasionally using an exercise ball is one way to help improve posture and prevent back pain. However, the research is mixed, with most experts suggesting you limit your time on the ball to a period of no more than two hours at a time. This way, you can reap some of the benefits, without risking fatigue or slumping.
  • Adopt a dog from a local shelter and take it for several walks a day. This is one of the fitness tips that makes everyone smile. You’re moving naturally. You’re getting fresh air. Engaging with the world. Having a purpose that gets you up and moving each day. Just having a dog can help lower your blood pressure, decrease stress levels and help you deal with tough situations. “Adopting a dog is really the best Blue Zone strategy there is,” says Dan Buettner, author, educator and explorer who discovered the Blue Zones. “It’s that perfect nudge to get you walking every day.
  • Create a peaceful sleep environment and commit to sleeping 7-8 hours a night. The benefits include a stronger heart, less disease, clearer thinking, less obesity and a better mood, just to name a few. Fitness tips for getting this golden sleep include keeping the room cool, lowering lights in your home a few hours before bedtime, avoiding late-night caffeine and alcohol, and no phone scrolling right before you go to bed.
  • Find a way to de-stress every day. Okinawa is one of the Blue Zones. Senior Okinawans spend optimal amounts of time outside to soak up daily sunshine. According to bluezones.com, the people of Okinawa boast one of the highest life expectancy rates and enjoy more disability-free years. In Sardinia, another Blue Zone, a sense of humor is prized and daily laughter, which can improve overall heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, is encouraged. Other excellent fitness tips for de-stressing include yoga, meditation and Tai Chi.

Our Senior Star Signature Programs are designed to help you stay as active as you choose. Zumba Gold®, Walking Club, Shapemaster®, and Laughter Yoga® are just a few. We’d love to tell you more about our healthy lifestyle at Senior Star.

Enjoy convenience, comfort, purpose, and all the extras you deserve in a Senior Star community. It will be our pleasure to share the amenities, programs, and activities that our residents enjoy in a typical day. Download Guide to Aging Well: Secrets to Successful Aging from “Blue Zones” Around The World. Questions about senior living?  Contact us to learn more. 


Blue Zones Guide