Fitness in your 50s

It’s never too late to pursue a life of health and fitness, not even in your 50s! Sure, it may feel scary or pointless at that point, you might feel that you are running late on something, but it isn’t something like that at all.

Many have done it before! In 2019, Nicholas Rizzo, a personal trainer, biologist and fitness research director at RunRepeat, accomplished what he never thought possible: He helped his father — who had just entered his 60s — lose 25 pounds, adopt an exercise habit and kick pre-diabetes.

Like most things in life, it can be done gradually, especially since it may take a longer time for adults in their 50s to adjust to an active routine. Just like how a young adult would do it, workouts can start with basic exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, shoulder presses and lunges. It may be a good idea to invest in equipment as well such as a treadmill or a stationary bike, to add more daily movement especially on days when you can’t leave your home to go for a jog.

Studies show that regular exercise can help older adults combat age-related muscle lossimprove bone and joint healthlower cardiometabolic risk factorsfight chronic diseases and improve mental health and cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, exercising as you get older can help you maintain functional independence and improve your quality of life.

Since old age may come with several complications, it is important to see your doctor first before going with anything. There may be patients suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis, or high blood pressure. In which cases, they might recommend that the patients limit any sort of weight or cardio related exercises. As you have the approval from your doctor, you should be able to take care of things from there, increasing as you go, while being careful of what’s important.

Of course, it is vital you take care of your body before and after any exercise. Keep yourself hydrated and well warmed-up, and don’t forget to take nutritious food to keep you energized. Stretching will prevent injury and any incident that may occur.

There are many kinds of exercises you can start with but in general, it can be something like marching in place or doing balance exercises to get accustomed to movement. Many adults have trouble with balance and it can be a cause of accidents when doing workouts.

Yoga, Pilates and tai chi are also excellent for building strength. Do aerobic cardio, start resistance training, and do light weights.

The journey may be slower than those in their youth, but it is not impossible. With perseverance and patience, you can reach a healthy lifestyle as well, even if you’re already in your 50s!