Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are heading into retirement in droves. Roughly 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65 every day through 2029.

For a lot of the baby-boomer population, exercise could be brand new after retirement. They now have time to focus on themselves. As you start to design your workout program, let me remind you of a few things to remember:

• Understand your fitness level Take a look at your pulse before and after working out. Start out with some measurements for yourself so you can assess your results. For example, a measurement taken of your waist and hips is a great place to start.

• Set some goals and figure out what classes or gyms are available.

• Start at a lower intensity and gradually increase the intensity, duration and/or frequency.

• Fit exercise into your normal schedule.

• Vary your activity.

• Allow recovery time.

• Get the proper equipment. A good pair of supportive tennis shoes is very important.

• Remember to listen to your body and if it hurts, take a break.

• Be flexible and forgive yourself. There is always room for bad days.

• Look at your measurements or assessments from when you started and retake them in six to eight weeks to see your progress.

At the YMCA, we do have quite a few options for you to get started. Fitness classes are a great place to get started.

Move for Life is a fitness class that includes cardio, strength and range of movement exercises. Stretching and Beyond class focuses on balance and flexibility. Just Dance is an all-cardio-focused class to work on your heart health. Other great classes include all water fitness classes, Pilates, Spine Fit, Parkinson’s Exercise Group and tai chi.

We also can get you started on the right path with an equipment orientation of the machines at the YMCA or if you would like to work with a personal trainer for a few sessions, that is another option. It pays to have someone take you through some workouts and work with you individually so you understand everything before you are on your own.

Changing your routine can be very hard. At the YMCA we understand how intimidating the gym can be. This is why we have such a variety of options for everyone. We know that one size doesn’t fit all. So come see us at the YMCA and we will get you started on the right foot to your newest lifestyle change.

Jennifer Brownlow is the wellness director and personal trainer at Columbus Family YMCA.

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