How to start a fitness plan over 50

Exercising and staying fit becomes harder with age – this is a widely known and perhaps unfortunate fact about life.

We live in a somewhat paradoxical time when it comes to fitness and pursuing a healthy lifestyle – on the one hand, we have access to all sorts of guides, dietary plans, fairly affordable healthy foods and good gym deals.  On the other, we are surrounded by many different temptations that make it quite difficult to actually get down and put in the work in these areas.

I have put together a list of five things you can think about if you want to pursue a healthy fitness lifestyle beyond your fifties. Although it’s never too late to start, the earlier you start, the easier it’ll be!

  1. Focus on strength. Strength is essential when it comes to fitness. Some people think that this fact ceases to be true once they hit the big 50 – unfortunately, they are wrong. Besides being good for your muscles and heart, research shows that strength training is beneficial to your memory, too. Now, considering that memory is one of the crucial factors in regards to ageing, you probably want to do your best to preserve it for as long as possible, and strength training is one of the best ways to do this. Of course, a note must be added in relation to overdoing strength training – remember that you become more delicate as you age, and overworking yourself may set you back considerably, particularly in case of injury – be mindful of this.
  2. Walk, walk, walk. Regular promenades are another form of exercise that bear all sorts of health benefits for the ones who manage to do it regularly. From improving your cardiovascular fitness, to helping your weight loss and even improving your mood! I definitely know that a long, relaxing walk while listening to a podcast does wonders for my state of mind. An effective exercise could be to dedicate some portions of your walk to walking slightly faster in order to get the blood pumping around your body, and alternating between faster and slower.
  3. Cardiovascular exercise. Cardio is extremely important. It’s so important that writing a comprehensive list of its benefits stemming from it would likely take days.I will tell you a couple nonetheless – cardio improves your sleep, reduces stress and anxiety levels, and most importantly, reduces your risk of heart-related diseases. These should be enough for the moment. There are three cardiovascular exercises that I want to tell you about. One is walking, and we’ve already covered it – the other two are yoga and swimming. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise over 50 as it doesn’t put too much strain on your body and has many benefits, such as increased flexibility, reduced menopausal discomfort in women, improved bone health and is also good for your mental health.Swimming is great as it is a full body workout, and that’s just what you need as you get older. You want to use all those muscle groups and parts of your body that are rarely ever called to action. It is also an excellent option for weight loss.
  4. To the Core. Another area you’ll want to focus on as you get older is your core – in many ways, the centre of your being (I find it useful to conceptualise it this way). Core strength tends to be one of the first victims of the ageing process, which is why you will likely need to do something about it at some point – particularly if you haven’t given it much attention in the past. Some useful core exercises are crunches and sit-ups, and these work quite well in conjunction with a stability ball through which you can implement some variations in your routines. Again, remember not to overdo things to avoid the risk of injuries.
  5. Nutrition. The last thing I want to talk to you about is nutrition. Nutrition is a vital element of fitness. Many in the field consider a healthy and balanced diet to be even more important than the amount of fitness you do, and I think this is true – you are what you eat, after all. You need to come to terms with the fact that you can’t afford to eat like you used to – and that includes drinking beer and wine, my friend.

As you get older, your body becomes less effective at absorbing certain nutrients, which you may need more of as a consequence. This is particularly the case with vitamins D and B12. You may even want to consider using some supplements for certain nutrients that your body can’t process from your normal diet.

The last thing I will mention is water – as you get older, you may become more easily dehydrated due to the decreased thirst sensation that comes with age – always remember to stay hydrated; that means drinking about 6 to 8 glasses of water each day.

Everyone gets old, and ultimately, our bodies and minds are really all we are going to have left as we progress through life. Don’t be afraid of turning back the clock and getting to work – don’t miss this opportunity to improve the quality of your life before it becomes too difficult to even try make changes.

 

James Adams is passionate about website operations and understanding the latest web trends.  When not working, James enjoys working out at the gym and cycling.