Exercising Over the Age of 50

Sometimes as we get older we feel as though we don’t want to belong to a health club or have a gym membership since we don’t want to compete with people in their 20′s.  As they prance around with their tight bodies and tight workout outfits we feel out of place with our baggy tees and shorts.

We also (yes, I’m over 50) may not be familiar with all the new gym equipment or to be able to afford the club fees.

Or maybe you have simply decided that you cannot be bothered with trying to keep yourself physically fit any longer and have decided to throw in the towel on working out.  Not too long ago, you only had one option open to and that was to workout in your home with very limited resources. Maybe a few videos or magazines.

However, now in 2019/ 2020 you have tons to choose from. There are different pieces of fitness equipment like treadmills or ellipticals, different exercise videos – everything from aerobics to Zumba (you’ll even find pole dancing for exercise videos).  Working out at home has opened up an entire new industry with almost anything that you had available to you in a gym you can now have at your finger tips at home.

If you are not a regular exerciser, deciding which routine is right for you is a difficult task indeed.  If you are over-weight or out-of-shape, then running or bicycling is not the best to start with.  You might opt for a seated exercise, low-impact aerobic or general exercise video to get started and workout at your own pace. These exercise videos have three different fitness levels: beginners intermediate as well as advanced.

When you start exercising expect to be a bit more sore than when you were younger – however, no exercise should ever hurt. if you feel any pain – stop immediately.

1.    Please talk to your doctor before you even think about starting any exercise programs and set up a program that you can keep up with.

2.    You might start slowly and rest well on the days you do not work out. Even short 5-10 minutes of exercise can go a long way towards your overall fitness level.

3.    Slow down or stop any activity that causes you pain as this is a sign that you may be trying to do too much, too fast.

4.    Remember to drink plenty of water and fluids. This helps your body in flushing out those toxins and re-hydrates you.

5.    Remember, eating sensibly and reducing your caloric intake will help you see good results quickly. This is a good lifestyle change too.

6.    Does your local school have an adult education program? If so see if they have an exercise program for those over 50. You can also check your local Y.  You may also be very surprised to find that  some senior centers have programs for people in their 50′s for free or at a very reduced price.

Changing your routine once a month will challenge you, giving your body what it needs to improve.  Whenever you can do any particular exercise routine easily, I would say that it is time to celebrate a little.  After this, steps it up to the next level in your program.

You might go from standing to step aerobics; or from using the treadmill on slow speed and a level ground to inclining the treadmill and speeding it up.  Please remember to be kind to yourself. If you have found an exercise difficult, take it easy and take pride in your accomplishments to that point. You are doing great!