Keep Moving: 21 Tips for Staying Active After 50
Staying on top of your health at any age is critical, but after your 50’s, you need to take extra care so that you can have the ability to enjoy the everyday activities that you love. After 50, and especially after 60, problems with lowered muscle mass, osteoporosis, heart disease, and a slowing metabolism can wreck havoc on the body. While a healthy diet is essential to your health, it is equally important for you to be and stay active.
What to Focus On
While getting any form of activity can be beneficial to your health, there are certain things and areas to focus on as you get older that can target the more problem areas. When creating your activity or exercise plan make sure to:
Strength training is extremely important as muscle mass can be lost as you age, and having lean muscle can help you burn fat more easily. This doesn’t mean you need to lift so that your muscles are bulging, or devoid of fat deposits, it simply means incorporating muscle toning activities into your exercise plan. 10 to 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference. You can:
- Lift weights.
- Use elastic bands.
- Use your body weight by doing squats or lunges.
Throughout the week, each of your major muscle groups should get a turn, including your chest, shoulders, arms, abs, hips, and legs.
Get Your Heart Pumping
Another crucial component of being active is getting your heartbeat and breathing up. Aerobic exercise will not only help with weight loss but also help you to keep your heart and lungs healthy. You can get your aerobic activity by adding physical hobbies such as Zumba, dancing, or tennis to your exercise plan. You can also try an activity that might be a little easier on your joints such as:
- Water aerobics
Your goal should be to engage in aerobic activity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. You can also break this thirty minutes up into 10-minute sessions as long as you get your heart rate and breathing elevated. You can also incorporate aerobic activity into your daily responsibilities such as taking the stairs at an appointment or walking your dog.
Flexibility is vital to healthier muscles, improving balance, and eliminating joint pain. You should always make sure to stretch before and after your workout, as well as, perform exercises that involve stretching. Activities that can help you strengthen and keep flexible are:
- Arm and leg stretches
You should start with stretching exercises two days a week and build up to having some stretching activity every day.
Tips for Getting and Staying Active
Getting started and keeping with an exercise plan or routine can be the most difficult part of the process. Below are some techniques to help you make the first step and keep you going when you want to quit.
- Prevent injuries by knowing your limits, using proper techniques, and allowing your body proper rest.
- Keep from becoming bored by switching it up and trying something new once in a while, so it feels like an adventure instead of a chore.
- Always warm up and cool down to lessen stress on the body and reduce the risk of falls or injuries.
- Consider being a part of a group so you can engage with others and create a more social atmosphere.
- Go in knowing it is a lifelong commitment to giving you a better life.
- Choose exercises that make you feel better, not ones that hurt you.
- Don’t stop activity when you become ill. Instead, modify some simple routines that you can comfortably do.
- If you have problems sticking with an exercise plan, rethink your approach, don’t just give up.
- Focus on posture while exercising so that you can reduce the risk of injury to your back.
- Know when to take it easy and always make sure that your treat injuries seriously.
- Keep your routine varied, so you do not become bored.
- Always stay fully hydrated by drinking water during your workout and throughout the day, especially in warmer weather.
- Consider functional fitness in all of your daily activities. Schedule physical tasks like cleaning and mowing the lawn throughout the week so you can use it as part of your workout routine.
- Make sure you have the proper gear to work out, especially comfortable shoes that give your feet the support that the body needs.
- Get outside when you can to get an extra boost of vitamin D to help stave off fatigue and provide for better muscle health.
- Make sure you get enough sleep each night so that your body can complete its restoration process and repair your muscles each day.
- Get active with your grandchildren by taking them to the park or kicking a ball around outside. You will get your quality time, fresh air and aerobic activity all at once.
- Know that your recovery process might be longer than when you were younger. Having the appropriate time to recover from your workouts is necessary to reduce your risk of major injury.
- Let your body give you cues. Your body will let you know when it has hit it’s limit, or it needs a little longer to rest and recover. Don’t ignore these signs and let them develop into larger problems.
- Don’t completely ditch your morning coffee. While water is the best thing to keep you hydrated throughout the day coffee can not only give you a little energy boost but, also, is packed with antioxidants that can benefit your health.
- Make sure your exercise plan continues to progress. Since you may have to start slow when embarking on a new routine or exercise plan, it is important to make sure to move forward as you can, such as adding more weight or lengthening your aerobic activity so you don’t hit a plateau.
Don’t Forget Your Mind and Spirit
While physical activity is critical to health, so is exercising your brain. Keep your mind moving and sharp by engaging in puzzles, games, brain teasers or other mind-stimulating activities. Additionally, part of being healthy involves having a healthy spirit. You can work on both the physical and spiritual by relaxation stretching techniques after exercise or incorporating yoga as part of your routine.
While staying active after 50 may look and feel a little different, it is worth pursuing. Having a healthy and longer life where you can continue to enjoy all of the activities you enjoy now is a goal we all want. Always remember, the most vital piece of advice when staying active is never to give up. The benefits are well worth the work.