Sometimes my clients tell me that turning 50 or 60 just crept up on them. They were cruising along and all of sudden they hit that age and were kind of shocked. Some of them had been physically active throughout their adult lives, but others had not been very active. The good news is that it’s never too late to get started with being physically active and getting regular exercise.
If you are over 50 and have been living a sedentary lifestyle, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning any regular exercise routine. Most people will get the thumbs up and you will be ready to go. Getting plenty of exercise, especially when you are over the age of 50, is important to your long-term health. It can help you to remain more mobile, help fend off some common diseases, and keep you feeling and looking better into your golden years. Plus, it will give you the energy you need to keep up with and be an active part of your grandchildren’s lives.
Here are some of the best tips about exercise for people over 50:
Make the commitment. Having an exercise program requires you to get real with yourself and make the commitment to caring for yourself. You have to hold yourself accountable so that you stick with it.
Find an exercise that you enjoy, or a couple of them so that you can switch it up and keep from getting bored. If you enjoy running and biking, then alternate your cardio program to include both of those. Mix it up a little by getting in a few hikes here and there. Aim for getting at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise per day.
Get properly fitted for shoes for your cardio routine. Visit a running or fitness store, so the staff can evaluate your foot and gait and fit you with a pair of shoes that will keep your feet feeling great as you exercise.
Be sure to do some strength training, which is going to help keep your bones strong and keep you burning more calories for longer periods of time. Weight training exercises should be done on at least two days per week and it should work all of your major muscle groups.
Choose the time of day that works best for you. The best time of the day for you to exercise is going to be the one that you will stick with doing.
Find a way at least once per week to relax and reduce stress, such as doing yoga, tai chi, meditation or spending time out in nature.
While you are putting all of this effort into taking care of yourself, don’t overlook healthy eating. You can’t outrun and out-exercise a poor diet. Opt for plenty of whole foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein. Also, don’t feel you need to go it alone, you can always work with a personal trainer to get your routine started. As a personal trainer, I have worked with many people over the age of 50 all over the Pacific Northwest, and I can help you reach your fitness and exercise goals, too!