Whether you’ve been active your entire life or are just starting out, here’s how to stay fit as you age.
Just because the years are passing by doesn’t mean you have to sit down and take it lightly. By staying fit, or becoming more fit if you’ve previously been inactive, you can slow down the hands of time.
Not only will regular physical activity help you maintain muscle strength and flexibility but it can provide a number of other health benefits, from helping you lose weight to improving your mood. Exercise can also lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some types of cancer.
Here are 5 tips to help you stay fit after 50:
- Don’t do too much too fast. You may have a long-term goal of where you want to be in your fitness journey, but don’t go from zero to 50 to get there. Instead, start out slowly and increase what you do a little at a time. Set small goals and celebrate each one before you move on to the next.
- Try something new. By trying something you’ve never done before, you may stumble on something you never thought you’d like. Sign up for salsa lessons. Attend a new yoga class. Or go for a hike with a friend.
- Vary what you do. Variety continually challenges your body in different ways and prevents overuse injuries. It’s also good for your mind. Changing what you do keeps things interesting and forces your brain to learn new things, which can help keep you sharper as you age.
- Don’t forget strength-training. Doing cardio is great for your heart, lungs and waistline. But don’t underestimate the importance of strength-training. Lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises helps keep your bones and muscles strong.
- Find something sustainable. Choose activities you don’t mind doing. Don’t run if it hurts your knees. Join a class at the gym if you prefer exercising with a group. Determine how and when you’ll workout so it fits best into your life. By doing this, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
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Date Last Reviewed: March 13, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS