Regular exercise after the age of 50 is one of the best ways to maintain good health and independence – and this should be one of the most compelling reasons to maintain our fitness, and exercise as we get older.
Today’s post looks at not only the best ways to maintain fitness and exercise after 50, but also the importance of physical activity and what counts as physical exercise. We’ll look at how much exercise do we need, top tips for building a home gym you will actually use, 29 ways to fit more exercise into daily life, and much more.
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Why maintain fitness and exercise?
Research shows that maintaining physical fitness and exercising is really important as we age, and whether you decide to pursue your own fitness routine, or get help from the professionals, the important thing is to just keep moving, and keep up your physical activity whenever and wherever possible.
Studies indicate that inactivity is linked to several age related diseases.
The importance of physical fitness and exercise as we age.
Regular exercise can make a big difference to our quality of life as we get older. Not only with regard to general health issues, but also how we feel about life in general.
Quality of Life
“Research has shown that regular physical activity improves quality of life for older adults and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and many other illnesses and disabilities. In many ways, it is the best prescription we have for healthy, successful ageing.” Dr Richard J Hodes, Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). MedlinePlus Magazine.MedlinePlus Magazine
Why getting out of breath is good for you
“As people get older, they get more resistant to insulin,” says Dr Richard Quinton, Consultant and Senior lecturer in endocrinology at Newcastle University. Exercise can help with insulin resistance, by helping to keep your weight down. One study published in the Journal of Obesity and Weight Loss concluded that not only did exercise help insulin resistance, it also influenced the way our muscles use glucose. “We’re not talking about endurance events for these benefits,” says Dr Richard Quinton, “It’s simply about getting out of breath for half an hour a few times a week.”The Truth about Midlife Fitness and Hormone Changes
What counts as physical exercise?
There’s more to physical activity and exercise than going to the gym or riding a bike.
Physical activity refers to all types of activity, and some examples are; doing the housework, or gardening, going for a walk, taking the stairs instead of a lift, and even getting out and about doing the shopping.
Anything that keeps you moving can be counted as physical activity which in turn can lead to improved physical fitness.
Benefits of physical fitness
Both exercise and general physical activity can impact not only your health and fitness in a good way, but also the way you feel about life. It can help you feel more positive and energised and more able to tackle daily challenges.
Why is physical activity important as you age?
Being physically active helps you stay fit enough to keep on doing the things you enjoy as you get older – whether that’s just playing outdoor games with your grandchildren, going for walks and hikes, or keeping up with the gardening.
How much exercise do we need?
There is research that suggests around 150 minutes of exercise a week is required to have an impact on fitness. This exercise, according to research, should be of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking, or perhaps swimming, with muscle strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work our major muscle groups – legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.
The benefits of physical activity after the age of 50
If you’re like me, when it comes to fitness and exercise, I tend to focus on one activity – walking – which isn’t great because according to Healthy Aging with Go4Life at NIH Medline Plus we should be looking to do various different types of exercise after the age of 50 that include: Endurance, balance, strength and flexibility.
6 ways exercise can be good for you
Can help maintain and improve your physical strength and fitness.
Can help improve your ability to do the everyday things you want to do.
Can help improve your balance.
Can help manage and improve diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Can help reduce feelings of depression and may improve mood and overall well-being.
May improve your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity, and ignore irrelevant information.
Read More at …Healthy Aging with Go4Life”
Aerobic activities and weights
Aerobic activities help to increase our breathing and heart rate. Dr Hodes says these, “Help keep you healthy, improve fitness, and carry out everyday tasks. “
However we also need to lift weights to help strengthen our muscles and eve small changes can make a difference. “ Stronger muscles can make it easier to get up from a chair, carry groceries, open jars, work in the garden, and even play with your grandchildren,” explains Dr Richard J Hodes (Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). MedlinePlus Magazine).MedlinePlus Magazine
Balance and stretching
Then there are the balance and stretching exercises, also important as we age for our overall fitness and exercise options. These help with our flexibility and may help prevent falls later on.
Once your menopause hits, oestrogen levels fall off a cliff edge. The two most important effects of this are weakening bone mineral density and the loss of the heart-protective effects of oestrogen, which can increase your risk of heart disease, explains Professor Greg Whyte OBE, a sports scientist who has trained Davina McCall and David Walliams for endurance challenges.
“Exercise can impact both, particularly load-bearing cardiovascular exercise such as walking or jogging, with a couple of sessions of circuit training that gets you sweaty with some weights, such as Body Pump classes.”Greg Whyte OBE
The Truth about Midlife Fitness and Hormone Changes
How to find time to exercise
The best thing is to make exercise a habit. Know when you’re going to do it, and don’t talk yourself out of it. Make an appointment with yourself. Lay out your shoes, gear and water bottle at night and go first thing in the morning before you’ve had time to think about anything else.
A brisk walk is a fantastic way to start the day and could form the basis of your fitness and exercise plan, at least to begin with.
Easy exercises to build into your day
If you have a dog, then walk the dog first thing in the morning, or find a safe cycle route if you can and cycle to work.
If you have stairs at home, then don’t avoid going up and down them, but rather take every opportunity to take something up or down the stairs when necessary.
For strength building exercise you could make your own weights using things like tins from the pantry (things which won’t break!)
Do some stretching exercises every time you are waiting for the kettle to boil.
To Gym or not to gym?
People tend to have a love/hate relationship with their local gym or fitness centre.
Usually you have to pay a monthly fee to be a member, which does put a bit of pressure on to make you go.
Plus you have professionals to instruct you how to use the exercise equipment.
On the other hand, it takes time to get dressed for the gym, you have to remember your exercise mat, towel and water bottle and then drive there. It all takes time and planning.
It’s much easier and cheaper in the long run to workout at home.
If you don’t want to or can’t join a gym for any reason consider buying some exercise equipment to have at home.
So why not start creating your own home gym in a spare bedroom or the garage?
NB – Before you start creating a home gym I always advise getting help from the professionals – don’t assume you know how to use home gym equipment and don’t just rely on boxed instructions. Don’t risk injury – do make sure you ask an exercise professional how best to use the machines and equipment you choose to purchase for home use. It will also mean you get the most benefit from your exercise routines too.
How to get most benefit from your home gym
Once you’ve got professional outside advice, the next important thing you need to do is find suitable room.
Having an exercise bicycle in front of the TV might be a good idea, as long as your spouse or family members don’t mind, but it’s probably not going to be ideal in the long run unless you live alone.
So the first thing you have to determine when building a home gym, is where you are going to put it.
Top tips for building a home gym you will actually use
A home gym should be organised to minimise distraction, so it’s best if it’s away from the living area, definitely not in the bedroom and separate from other main living areas on the house.
You could choose a guest bedroom that isn’t used very often, or otherwise utilise a part of your garage.
Make a list of the equipment you want to have, make sure you have an exercise professional to consult before you start to use it, and make sure there is enough room for everything to fit.
Once this is done you are ready to start creating your home gym.
Home gym equipment
You can create a gym that revolves completely around your likes and dislikes.
If you hate the treadmill or stationary bike, don’t bother getting one because in all likelihood you’ll never use it.
Strength training would require a weight machine or free weights as part of your workout routine.
What exercise equipment should I buy?
Here are some ideas for gym equipment you might use …
An exercise bike is probably the first thing people think of.
An exercise treadmill could also be a good investment.
A Step Machine might be useful if you don’t have stairs to climb at home.
A rowing machine is something to consider for arm and shoulder strength.
Also check out and buy the following equipment for your home gym:-
These are all part of the endless supply of workout equipment which could help you keep fit.
The important thing is creating a gym around your likes and dislikes in order to keep you motivated and active.
Creating a Routine
The only thing better than having a home gym is using it.
Even though you now have easy access to working out, it’s still going to tough to keep up with it if you don’t have a daily routine.
Carve out some time during the evening, or possibly before you go to work in the morning to use your home gym, and stick to it.
Maybe try and encourage another family member or a friend to workout with you because this is a good way to avoid excuses and maintain the motivation to keep at it. You can motivate and encourage each other to reach your fitness goals and have an enjoyable time while doing so. You’ll be getting into shape and spending social time with your friends or family.
A home gym could be a good way for you to create and stick to a daily workout routine because you don’t have to plan ahead or leave the house.
It could also the less expensive route when you consider how much a gym membership costs on a yearly basis.
Should I exercise alone or in a group?
This is entirely up to you. I know I prefer to exercise alone, and get it over with. But if you’re a social person, or you need a little bit more of a nudge then doing group exercise will probably be better as it will keep you motivated.
A personal trainer at a gym is probably your best bet for keeping you on track, but if you’d rather not do that then get together with a few friends to keep you accountable – which will also be sociable.
Social benefits of physical activity
The social benefits of physical activity are numerous, and joining clubs has the side benefit of having time to interact with others. Remaining social is important as we get older because isolation and loneliness in old age are well documented.
Perhaps you enjoy tennis? Then join a club.
Perhaps you enjoy rambling? Join a rambling club and find out more about the neighbourhood you live in at the weekends.
If you enjoy cycling then join a cycling group. You’ll be introduced not only to a new social circle but you’ll also find new routes and backroads you possibly never knew existed.
How to get more exercise into your life after the age of 50
As we’ve journeyed through our lives, many of us have had families, careers, and many responsibilities. We’ve juggled hectic schedules that possibly have not left much time for regular fitness routines.
Many of us might have thought that the time will one day come when we can finally make ourselves a priority and give more time and thought to how much we exercise.
Then we come puffing into mid-life wondering where the time has gone and how we’re going to resolve our fitness issues.
But now, when we’re over the age of 50, we find that choosing to make fitness a fixture in our lives takes a good amount of willpower and determination, despite the fact that perhaps family life and work responsibilities are taking up less time.
Having a family, a career, and a hectic schedule leaves little time for a fitness routine.but then so does life in general – if we choose to let that happen. Life gets in the way of many things, but now more than ever it’s important that it doesn’t get in the way of keeping fit.
Developing a fitness routine may take a little planning and creativity.
The most important thing to remember is that as long as we are able bodied after 50 we need to keep active.
However, there is evidence to suggest that making small positive changes to our routines, and creating exercise habits that stick are the best things we can do for our health in later life.
- Make a conscious decision to exercise more and sit less
- Get up and move around during the TV adverts
- Walk around when you are speaking on the phone
- Do your own housework
- Park further away than you need to when you go shopping
- Plan some fun physical activities at the weekends
- Begin an exercise routine that you might enjoy and will stick to.
Top tips for sticking to your plan when you’d rather be reading a book
Don’t go overboard – No matter what fitness goals you have, it’s important to remember to start small.
How many times have you made an ambitious plan to exercise and metaphorically fallen at the first hurdle?
I have – countless times.
So if you haven’t been exercising then don’t start at an intense level. An hour-long exercise routine, for instance, might be too much to jump in at to begin with.
Think about what you could be comfortable doing and begin with that, because the chances are if you enjoy it, you’ll want to do more.
If you hate it – you’ll probably give up at the first hurdle.
Start with a walk perhaps. Just 20 or 30 minutes around your neighbourhood.
Perhaps check out a video like Walking For Weightloss which might inspire you?
Wear comfy trainers with good support for your walks.
Buy yourself some exercise gear which you will wear only for exercise. My advice is to buy two sets – one for in the wash, and one to wear – that way you never have the excuse of not having exercise gear to wear. Plus if it feels good, and holds you in (as Lycra does) you’ll feel good and this could help you keep up your exercise habit.
After your morning walk could you add in a some stomach crunches, side bends or push-ups when you get home? How about some planking?
Do a Google search for an exercise routine and add that in if you feel comfortable. I like the following Abs workout.
Video : 8 Minute Abs Workout
The most important thing is not to start with an exercise routine that pushes you to the limit.
Start small. Add different exercises as and where you can. You don’t have to start with a workout that pushes all your limits. Just start small and build up over time.
Physical fitness exercises : Do what you enjoy most
When we are over 50, we begin to realise more than ever that life isn’t forever. This is not a dress rehearsal.
The downside to this is to think, ‘Well, why do I need to exercise at all?’ and that’s the wrong tack to be taking!
Rather choose your exercise likes – what can you do that you will actually quite enjoy?
I know I really enjoy my daily walk. It puts me in touch with nature. I notice the birds and bees and rustles in the breeze. I notice the change in seasons. My walk puts me at ease while also increasing my heart rate, and sets me up for the day.
But if you don’t enjoy the exercise you’ve chosen, it doesn’t matter what good intentions you have because you probably will end up not sticking to it.
Choose what you enjoy – do you like yoga? Could you stick with that?
Or perhaps you like power walking, as I do?
If you find an exercise you enjoy it will in time, be much easier to push your limits and keep you headed toward your fitness goals.
Take a break from exercising
Don’t forget that rest days are important too.
Don’t think you’re just being lazy. A rest day or two into your fitness routines will not upset everything you’ve worked for.
Yes, life also gets in the way – so if you can’t exercise for a couple of days don’t see this as a reason to give up. It’s important to throw a lazy day or two into your fitness routine to give your body time to regroup and recover.
You can’t expect to workout seven days a week without hitting burnout.
Professor Greg Whyte OBE a sports scientist has this to say, about taking a break …
Recovery is essential for the over-40s exerciser. The older we get the more seriously we should take that, ensuring we’re sleeping enough, rehydrating properly, eating enough protein after exercise, and taking 48 hours off between bouts of heavy strength training to help muscles recover. You can do active recovery during these times, with low-intensity walks or swims, but you have to let midlife muscles rest and recharge.”Professor Greg Whyte OBE
Use the time to decide how you’ll take your workout plan into the following week and make sure to schedule time to get back to it.
After a day or two’s rest you’ll more than likely get back into your workout with gusto, re-energized and ready to start again.
Plan your exercise routine and stick with it
Any fitness plan needs a little bit of organisation and planning in order to stick with it. Unless you’ve always been a fitness junkie, it probably won’t come easily. Take it one step at a time, snakes and ladders style, but just keep going..
As soon as you begin to exercise, the excuses will creep in, you will get busy, and your fitness goals will go out of the door.
I know – it’s happened to me more than once.
But planning in advance, having a set time to exercise, and making sure to follow some of these tips will help to avoid all the excuses your brain can muster, and set you on a path to hit and exceed the goals you’ve set.
Buy an exercise and fitness journal to record your progress.
How to get fit at 50 – Exercises to do, but NOT at the gym
How can I get fit without joining a gym? You might be asking.
Well, you don’t have to feel like a hamster on a wheel and exercise in the confines of a gym.
If you don’t like going to the gym then don’t go. Working out with weights and running on a treadmill may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s certainly not my idea of bliss.
Working out and doing physical exercise outside of the gym can be much more fun and still fitness orientated.
You could take up volleyball – in Australia, beach volleyball is quite a thing. If you don’t want to join a team, then you could schedule in time with your family to have some time on the beach playing volleyball and working up a bit of a sweat. It’s a good sport because it strengthens your arm and leg muscles and encourages better hand-eye coordination as well as increasing your energy levels.
Nobody need be a professional. Nobody need be ‘that’ competitive. The accent should be on getting out, being physically active, enjoying the fresh air and other people’s company.
Golf – ah golf. There are lots of benefits to playing a round of golf, especially if you decide to forego using a caddy and a golf cart. 18 holes of golf can add up to a good fair few kilometres if you walk the whole distance. This is a good way to get a cardiovascular workout, while taking in the beautiful scenery on the golf course.
Tennis can be a good overall workout – Playing a game of social tennis can be as moderate or intense as you choose. Your reflexes, speed, and agility will be put to the test and you will burn calories during this aerobic workout. Hitting the ball back and forth to your grandchildren is also a great way to work your arm and leg muscles. This is especially true if your grandchildren don’t hit the ball directly back to you and you find yourself jogging to chase it around the court as well as having to pick up countless balls.
There are also added benefits to playing games with your grandchildren. Playing together can strengthen relationships and form a bond that could last for life.
Playing sports with your grand children is also a great way to introduce them to new activities, build their confidence, self-esteem, and sportsmanship and make you feel worthwhile and needed at the same time.
4 easy outdoor activities that will get you moving
Life is full of daily activities that keep us hot footing from one point to the next. But ticking things off our busy to-do lists may not burn calories too.
On the other hand carving out time activities that get the blood pumping and the heart racing is a little bit harder to do.
As before, finding time to be active is often difficult, but it’s important for your health.
Here are a few outside activities you can do to keep more active, that can include your nearest and dearest.
Picnic at the Park
Rather than go to a restaurant with your family and friends, you could pack a healthy lunch and invite your family or friends to go to a local parkf or the afternoon.
There is no better way to get your friends and family up and moving – for food is a great motivator.
After your picnic play some games – kick ball around or play catch with a beach ball, or play cricket, or tag, or take along a Petanque set and have a game of Boules.
When you’ve finished eating you could kick a ball around, or play catch, or just a game of tag together.
Go for a bicycle ride
Taking a bike ride is a great way to get outdoors in the fresh air, with the wind in your hair, and you can travel further afield than just by walking.
In South West Australia we are lucky to have lots of reasonably safe biking paths, but wherever in the world you are you could seek out some bicycling trails. Many biking paths will go right past a park or playground too. Biking is a great way to get your boost your energy levels and give your legs a workout.
Do some gardening
This is a fantastic way to get outdoors and get bending and moving and carrying weighty objects.
The entire process – from deciding what to plant, to going out and choosing plants or seeds, to digging holes in the ground and carrying watering cans and pots around will get you moving.
Take a walk
As mentioned above walking is good for you.
Taking a brisk walk around your suburb, or your neighbourhood can be an effective cardio workout if you do it properly, and walk at a pace which makes it slightly difficult to hold a conversation.
Walking can be a good way to catch up with a friend or another member of your family.
Perhaps you’ll choose different routes and keep your walks varied and interesting or maybe you’ll decide to try and do the same route a little faster as you get fitter, and time your walks.
You could buy some ankle or wrist weights, and after consulting someone who knows about such things, step your fitness regime up a level.
Ankle and Wrist Weights
It’s often said that people give up on their fitness goals because they get bored or burnt out.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Really try to incorporate a variety of ways to workout so you keep going, and have fun at the same time.
Swimming or water aerobics?
Why not check out your local sports centre and see what they have on offer? Or just go there for a swim on a regular basis? Decide which will keep you more motivated – ask gym professionals about the benefits of water aerobics, and how many lengths you should do, and work towards to as you get fitter.
Fitness classes, Pilates classes or Yoga?
A gym or recreational centre might offer all these exercise options. So find somewhere that you like going to, find an instructor that you like listening to, and then built the chosen classes into your weekly schedule.
Get off the couch or the computer
I know I know, so much revolves around the latest technology – smartphones, tablets, video games and TV that it’s easy to become a couch potato.
We think that only the younger generation are affected and because they weren’t around ‘back in the day’ that we can’t possibly be hooked in to their depths.
But we can and we do.
And as we get older we need to make a pact with ourselves that more and more time won’t be spent in a sedentary position, even if we feel we are ‘learning’.
We need to create routines. We need to be active, just as much as we need to continually learn new technological stuff as we get older.
Hiking and bicycling: Get out and get some fresh air
Getting out in the open and breathing fresh air, also gives us a chance to reflect on how beautiful our world really is. Being out in nature literally does help us to stop and smell the roses.
Hiking and bicycling have the benefit of being a great cargo workout.
Your blood starts pumping, your heart rate goes up, and unused muscles are put to work helping to build strength and muscle tone.
The best part about hiking and bicycling is that once you have some comfy hiking boots or a reliable bicycle these workouts are free. Plus an added benefit is that you get to choose when you do them, and so you can fit them into your own schedule.
A good bicycle and comfortable hiking boots are your only expenses.
Being outdoors also has the added benefit of being a stress reducer. Fresh air and sunshine are great for helping soothe worries away and helping you forget about the stress of work or family life.
Hiking and bicycling are less monotonous than a gym workout because you can choose to change the route or go with a friend and make your exercise routine more social.
At the gym, if you’re like me, you can become bored of staring at a TV screen watching programmes that don’t really interest you while you’re on the treadmill or pedalling furiously away on the stationary bicycle.
There are benefits to just about any outdoor activity you choose but hiking and bicycling are wonderful simply because they allow you to get back to the basics and take in all the wonders nature has to offer. The fresh air, breeze, and peace of nature can make you see things from a different perspective, calm you down and bring you back to centre – to understand what really matters in life.
Indoor fitness activities
During cold winter months, or heatwaves when you aren’t able to get outside and it’s hard to muster up the motivation to get out and hit the gym, it can seem nearly impossible to get any exercise at all.
Activity levels can fall drastically to one step above couch potato and we often wonder where the excess weight around our hips is coming from.
However, not all is lost. You do still have a chance to maintain some form of an exercise routine even when the snow is falling and the temperature is freezing or it’s just too hot to get outside and be active.
DVD Video exercise routines
There are so many exercise routines on the market. Pop them into your video player or DVD player on your laptop and do them in the comfort of your own home.
I love Callan Pinckney’s Callanetics and have done them for years. I now have a 30 minute routine that I know off my heart. These exercises really do help to tone my body when I do them 3 times a week. I see a noticeable difference in my body shape when I do them regularly.
Find some exercise routines courtesy of your mobile phone. There’s no need to stand in front of the TV or your Computer – just use your phone and get moving.
This is not a suggestion to sit on the couch and stare at the television all day with a controller in your hand.
Systems such as the Wii offer games where you can be up and moving while you are playing.
You’ll find that your energy levels increase and you’ll receive the boost needed to jump-start your metabolism. In no time these games will have you sweating like you’ve just been to the gym. The level of activity is up to you.
If you’re a beginner you can take it slow or really push your limits if you choose. Schedule time to “play” a game or two because you might find it much easier to stick to a workout routine if you are having fun at the same time.
Added benefits – Video games allow you to have fun and burn calories at the same time, but there are also some added benefits.
They could help your reflexes plus they force you to use your brain by having to think quickly about the next move.
Video games are no longer just for gamers or those who want to sit on the couch all day staring at a television screen.
Maybe you can incorporate game time into your daily schedule to get a quick workout, or make it an event and get friends involved.
Active video games keep your mind active, your body active, and allow you to create special, fun moments with friends too.
Dance like nobody’s watching
You know how the saying goes: “Dance like nobody’s watching.” If you’re alone at home this is fun and good for you at the same time.
Blast some tunes as loud as you want and make room for a dance floor in the living room, or your kitchen, or wherever you have a little space for move around.
Don’t be shy because nobody’s watching. This is your time to dance and prance and get moving.
Just because it’s cold and nasty outside doesn’t mean you have to give up on exercise. There are many creative ways to stay active indoors.
Get Fit after 50 with some Weekend Wandering
It’s no surprise in this hectic, fast paced life that many people live for the weekends. In fact, sometimes it seems like that’s all we live for. For some people it’s the only way to find some down time from jobs and the stresses and strains of life.
Fun ideas for an active weekend
It’s important to find time to connect with other people in a fun, lighthearted way and making weekend plans with your family or friends is a good way to do this.
So what are some unique, fun things you can do to get away and spend time with other people too?
Visit a Museum or Art Gallery
You could visit a local museum or art gallery for a little learning and a whole lot of walking. Some museums are so big that you can’t possibly see everything in one day but walking around and viewing the exhibitswill definitely keep you on your feet and active. Museums and art galleries are always adding new things and changing their pieces, so don’t worry if you’ve been there before.
Beach or Pool
Head to the beach or swimming pool with your partner or a friend, and go for a swim. Swimming is a great exercise for overall fitness and works just about all the major muscle groups. Then go somewhere nice with your partner for a coffee – you’ve earnt it.
Pack your tent
Camping – A great physical activity for anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Get back to basics and take in all the beauty nature has to offer. For those of us over 50, to make life more comfortable when camping just make sure you have a comfortable camping mattress, and a small porta-potty for night-time!
Your body will thank you for the added bending and stretching which camping always involves and al that fresh air will help you sleep better too.
Fishing, Hiking, Boating and Barbies
Fishing, hiking, boating, and barbecuing are just a few fun activities you can experience on a camping trip to be more active. This is a great way to get away from technology, out into nature and out of your comfort zone to revitalise the senses.
How to Make Fitness A Part of Your Life
In order for a fitness and exercise routine to become part of daily life, you have to make certain changes in the way you live, the foods you eat, and the activities you are involved in.
You might also like : How to get more active without really noticing
Get motivated to lose weight and exercise – partner up
If you’re married it will probably be better if you and your partner can commit to healthy eating and fitness goals, so that you are both on the same track so to speak.
It will be much easier if you are buoying each other up rather than undermining each other with subtle reasons not to exercise, or saying things like ‘oh go on and have a biscuit, just one won’t hurt!” for instance.
Or you could perhaps find an exercise partner. Perhaps a family member or friend who will hold you accountable and help you stick to your fitness plan. Decide upon a specific time to meet up and workout together, then keep notes about your progress.
It’s much harder to give up when you have someone pushing you in the right direction. You’ll also be helping move someone else in the right direction for their fitness goals as well.
If you’re like me, and many others, you’ll make new year fitness resolutions and probably not stick to them after a couple of weeks because of emotional triggers which cause them to fail, or life just gets in the way.
If two of you commit to do something together, you can encourage and motivate each other not to give up.
If you find that you are boycotting your own fitness routine then maybe it’s time to find a personal coach.
Or try changing your schedule. If you always workout after work, then try getting up earlier and exercise first thing in the morning. Exercising early on gives your metabolism a boost, there are less distractions to sway you, and you will feel more energised to start the day.
Plan your meals
A true fitness plan is not really going to work well if you eat rubbish.
It’s important to eliminate bad eating habits and make healthier choices.
Working out is a huge component of fitness, but eating the right foods is just as important. One without the other doesn’t work and your plan will most likely fail.
Set some goals
If you want to get fit and stay fit, it’s important to set goals.
- It’s probably best to set some goals that are easily attainable and some that push your limits.
- Write them down and refer to your goals often.
- Stick them on the fridge where you can see them each time you are tempted to snack.
- Keep track of your daily activity in a journal or notebook, or on your phone, so you are able to see how far you’ve come and how much closer you are to reaching your fitness goals.
Buy a fitness watch
I love my Fitbit Alta.
It makes me get up and exercise more, reminds me when I’ve been sitting at the computer too long, and really motivates me to walk 10,000 steps a day. It tracks steps, calories burned, distance travelled and heart rate. You can also set it to remind you to just get up and move.
Make a Plan and Get Moving
The important thing to making fitness and exercise a normal part of your life is that you have a plan. You can’t just hope to live healthier and expect it to happen. You must take control of the situation and take small daily steps in the right direction. Refer often to the goals you hope to achieve and be consistent with your actions. Pretty soon a fitness routine and healthier way of life will be second nature.
The benefits of being physically fit are numerous, and should be a priority, not just an inconvenience, when you are over 50.
Top 29 Tips for Getting More Exercise into your life – Round Up
- Go for a walk with a friend
- Do more housework
- Get out into the garden and dig, weed and bend.
- Go for a bicyle ride
- Set up (and use) a home gym
- Lift some dumbell weights – or perhaps source some exercises you can do using baked bean cans from the kitchen cupboard.
- Go for a jog
- Do some circuit training
- Join an exercise class – pilates, yoga, aerobics – you choose
- Dance in your living room every day
- Take your pooch for a walk
- Hire a personal trainer and get to the gym regularly
- Get up and move during the TV advertisements
- Don’t sit, but walk around when you’re on the phone
- Park further away when you go to the shops
- Plan fun physical activities like picnics in the park with friends or family, which include some outside games (like cricket) afterwards.
- Buy an exercise DVD to get you moving at home
- Buy a Fitbit fitness tracker or Garmin fitness watch to motivate you and get out and do more steps a day
- Take up volleyball
- Start playing golf
- Try your hand at tennis
- Play petanque (boules) with friends on the beach or on the lawn at home
- Wear ankle and wrist weights when you go for a walk (ask a fitness expert first)
- Sign up for water aerobics
- Get some exercise Apps on your phone and diarise to do them
- Get a Wii Fit or a Wii Sports
- Join a Zumba Class
- Join a weekend rambling club
- Go to the beach or pool for a swim
Fitness and Exercise
Choosing to make fitness a permanent part of your life takes a good amount of willpower, determination, and hard work but I hope this article has helped you see that there are many ways you can incorporate fitness to fit your daily schedule.
Being physically active may take some planning and you might have to be creative at times, but just remember to stay active.
Making small, positive changes to your daily routine can help prevent bad habits forming as you age, and can be the start of a physically fit and active life after the age of 50.
Disclaimer: I recommend that you seek the advice of your doctor or health professional before trying any of the exercise ideas in this article. As with all health, and fitness and exercise related posts on Lifestyle Fifty every effort has been made to include accurate and helpful information, but this post and others like it are based on my own personal findings and opinion, and might not be right for you.
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