For many people over 50, achieving or maintaining fitness is a challenge – perhaps more of a challenge than it was when we were younger.
How to Stay Fit After 50
There are some simple and effective ways to stay fit at 50 and beyond, and these five simple tips can help:
As I always say to clients, it’s not about trying to get big like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but using weights can be one of the best ways to maintain overall fitness as well as stop the fat gain. Building strength with weight training is beneficial at any age, and studies have shown that men and women in their 70’s can still build muscle mass by lifting weights 2 to 3 times per week.
Walking has consistently been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness, help keep weight under control, and to improve mood in those who maintain a regular walking routine. Any aerobic exercise (cycling, jogging, swimming) is great for maintaining lower levels of body fat, improving flexibility and overall body tone, and the risk of injury is low.
Include High Intensity Intervals in Training
People of all ages should be mindful of how they include high intensity intervals into their exercise programme to minimise the risk of injury. As with all programmes start slowly, listen to your body and build up at a level and a pace suitable for you.
As the days and weeks go by, you will find that you can increase the duration of the high intensity components of the programme. If you are already in good shape, you can add some high intensity intervals to take your programme up a notch.
Perform Core Exercises
I recommend these for all age groups, but as we age and become less active, core strength is often one of the first things to suffer.
Poor core strength can lead to aches and pains due to poor body mechanics and alignment. Sore backs, hips, knees, and necks can be traced back to poor core strength.
As mentioned in one of my 2016 articles (http://www.tempuspersonaltraining.co.uk/get-to-the-core/) the core muscles include more than just the abs, so it’s important to consistently perform a balanced core strength workout. Some of the best ways to maintain core muscle strength is by doing body weight exercises 3 or 4 times a week, and a fitness professional can make specific, tailored recommendations for these based on your need and ability.
Eat Enough Protein
Many people don’t eat enough protein to maintain muscle mass. Protein is the major building block of the body, and because it isn’t stored, it needs to be replenished regularly. Protein can be either complete (those containing 8 essential amino acids) or incomplete (lacking essential amino acids). Complete proteins are found in most animal sources such as meat, fish, and eggs while incomplete proteins are generally found in vegetables, fruit, and nuts.
If you are a vegetarian, it’s even more important for you to learn how to get enough of this essential nutrient.
So, getting, and staying, in shape when you’re over 50 is definitely achievable, but it does require consistent movement and a bit of knowledge to get the most out of your activity.