How To Stay Fit After 50
Posted on: 22 July 2016 by Kelly Smith
Ensure your maintain your health well into your golden years.
Reducing our exercise regimens is increasingly common with age, and understandably so. Health concerns can limit our capabilities, making exercise uncomfortable. But in many ways, keeping fit is paramount as we age. It can influence your quality of life as well as your medical bills. The key then, is to reach a compromise based on your abilities and what your doctor deems appropriate. So while you may need to retire from running long distance marathons, there are still plenty of activities and lifestyle choices that will help you maintain your fitness.
Use the buddy system
The advantages of a buddy system approach to exercise are twofold; not only will you have someone to keep you company and hold you accountable for your workout regimen, but also you will benefit from the social aspect (a crucial element of mental health at any age).
Know your limits
After 50, chances are you won’t be engaging in the kind of exercise that will qualify you for bodybuilding competitions. So don’t feel like you need to push yourself exceptionally hard, as doing so can actually be detrimental to your health (the last thing you need in retirement is an injury). If you aren’t sure what activities are suitable for you, have a chat with your doctor. Depending on your health, they may refer you onto a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.
Research some low-impact activities
The ageing process can take a toll on your joints. For this reason, many older adults find that high-impact activities, like running or basketball, are no longer practical. In this case, find ways to adapt you favorite forms of exercise or opt for activities that are easy on the limbs, like swimming, yoga, or cycling.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s important to set goals (both big and small) that you can meet on a regular basis. You may find it helpful to record your progress, too. While your progress can be recorded in a fitness journal, there are also loads of gadgets out there as well. Many of them will allow you to track your heart rate, blood pressure, and to easily view the bigger picture of your fitness routine.
Be smart about supplements and fad diets
Unfortunately when it comes to health, advertising often takes the place of an actual doctor’s advice. You’ve probably seen many of these targeted ads on TV, promoting a new-to-market drug (usually followed by a lengthy list of possible side effects) or ‘super food’ dietary supplement. Be wary when it comes to these kinds of things, as dietary supplements are not even required to have approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they go to market. And if you are on other medication already, they can have an adverse interaction even if the ingredients sound relatively innocuous.
Take a holistic approach
Staying fit means more than just staying active. Your diet has a huge influence on your health, and should be kept on track along with your workout routine. Common age-related health problems, such as high cholesterol and diabetes, can be made more manageable through a healthy combination of diet and exercise. Your holistic approach should also include cognitive health, which can be improved by participating in social activities and keeping your mind sharp.
While the tips described above are all excellent ways to maintain your fitness after 50, it is important to speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about your health. No two people are exactly the same, and your doctor will be able to offer more tailored advice regarding your optimal diet and exercise regimens. But no matter what, try to fold these elements of fitness (exercise, diet, socializing, and cognitive health) into your lifestyle to say fit well after you’ve turned 50!
Kelly Smith works at CourseFinder.com.au, an Australian online courses resource. She also provides career advice for students and job seekers and works as a freelance writer.
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