Exercising past 50 years old – Is it for you?
Staying Fit and Nifty Over Fifty
I know the definition of healthy is the absence of illness, sickness or injury, but I believe there is more to it than just the absence of illness or disease but the very REAL presence of fitness. With this in mind, I am posing the question to all you 50 plus people out there; “Do you think exercise is important? If you answered no to that question, this article may change your mindset and teach you some things that you didn’t know. It is not in dispute that people are living longer than our parent’s parents did. The underlying tenet is; do you just want to live longer, or do you want to get more enjoyment out of the longer life that God is blessing you with. Here are a few things you should know that may help you rethink what you think you know about exercise after 50.
Exercise is not to be feared
Though you may fear strained muscles, broken bones or heart issues due to exercise, you can put your fears at ease. Unless you have pre-existing or contraindications to exercise, you can get in the gym safely. And if you think a heart condition gives you an out from getting some exercise, you would be wrong. In fact, exercise is one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your heart to build up resistance against the next heart event.
I know it may have been some time since that 9th grade biology and anatomy class, but lets review. The heart is a muscle. The heart muscle responds just like any other muscle to exercise; it gets stronger, and becomes more efficient and effective at its job.
Don’t let this good news give you undue confidence. Just like everyone else, you should check with your physician to make sure the exercises you’re planning to do won’t cause you any unexpected trials and tribulations. Once you get the okay from your physician, put on a brave face and your favorite workout clothes and get to exercising.
You’re Not Too Old
Okay, you’re 50 years old and you’ve not darkened the door of an exercise facility in decades. Doesn’t that count you out of the exercise world? Shouldn’t all those years of not exercising keep you from being able to get in the gym now? Won’t your body reject the idea of exercising after being sedentary for so long?
No. Why? Because you’re never too old to exercise, and you’re never too old to begin exercising. Whether you’re 50 or 98, beginning an exercise routine today isn’t a silly idea. It is necessary. At least if you want to have the good health that so many people dream of enjoying.
Your Body Can Handle It All
When you were younger, you did it all. You played basketball and football, ran track or cross country, and spent plenty of time in the weight room to make sure you were well prepared for all of these activities and more. Now that you’re a few years older, you may be shying away from the variety of exercises you once completed without a second look. But you shouldn’t.
Getting regular exercise is vital to your lifelong good health. Getting regular exercise that is also well rounded will make sure your health is at its peak. Instead of spending all of your time on the treadmill or the stair stepper, get plenty of variety. As we age, we want to stress functional fitness. It doesn’t do anyone any good if you look like a million bucks, yet cant bend over and tie your shoes or cannot play with your grandchildren for more than just a few minutes so once again, variety is the spice of life. Go for cardio, flexibility, and strength training on a regular basis. You want your body to be able to do all kinds of different tasks, and be able to handle the rigors of your daily life.
Greatest Benefit Awaits
The benefits of exercise aren’t just stories. Research has shown the vast benefits of exercise for people of all ages. And in case you’re wondering, adults over age 50 get the biggest bang for their exercise buck.
Some of the perks of exercise that are particularly exciting for the 50-plus crowd include the following:
- improved digestion
- improved heart and lung function
- decreased risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis
- improved energy levels and stamina
- improved bone strength
- improved coordination
- improved flexibility
- decreased stress
- improved short- and long-term memory
- improved balance
- improved blood pressure levels
- improved circulation
- improved sleep patterns
This is just a partial list. I could go on forever and ever with the benefits of exercise for everyone, but especially those that have hit the half a century mark and beyond.
Now, stop reading this article, check with your physician and go out and get some exercise. Your body will thank you and those that love you will thank you. Now you will be able to get more living out of your longer life and you will be staying fit and nifty over 50.