The Do’s and Don’ts of Exercise After 50
Our local university has a exercise program for adults. It’s basically a lab for the Health and Exercise Science students. The program’s mission statement includes “…providing clinical experiences for students and a forum for research…”
Great! Now my aging body provides a “forum for research”. As if all of these changes weren’t a big enough mystery to me, now students can gather data on it!
I’ve always done some form of exercise, but as I age, it’s different somehow. It’s harder to be motivated. I get bored easily so I have to shake it up with walking, biking, free weights, swimming and exercise videos.
Here are some exercise videos that I’ve done in the past. Some made me chuckle and I had to see how old they are now.
- Body Flex (Greer Childers) (age 71)
- Denise Austin (age 60)
- Kathy Smith (age 65)
- Jane Fonda (age 79)
- Richard Simmons (age 68)
- Cindy Crawford (age 51)
- Tae Bo (Billy Blanks) (age 61)
To enjoy aging, we need to find ways to be motivated and be smarter about exercising.
Do these 5 things when you exercise after 50
Be hydrated before exercising
Staying hydrated is important throughout the day and especially if you plan to exercise. Water reduces fatigue and will help you recover faster after exercise. Getting in enough water begins as soon as you wake up. Start with lemon water and hydrate all day.
Stretch before and after exercising
If you’re over 50, you feel the flexibility beginning to fade slightly. Cold muscles need time to warm up, especially if you exercise in the morning or have been sitting all day. Be smart and stretch to help reduce injury. After you exercise, the muscles are ready to stretch even more.
Listen to your body
Pain is not gain! We’re older and wiser now. Know your limits. The goal is to be able to enjoy your health and adjusting your routine when you’re feeling a little tight is aging smart!
Consistency is the most important thing
Regardless of the pounds lifted or the number of miles ran, the most important thing you can do to age well is to be consistent with your exercise. Pick three days a week and stick to it. Commit to riding your bike to work or to the store two days every week. Join an exercise class and be accountable. This is your gift to you.
Incorporate a variety of exercise
Try a tai chi class in the park, find a new bike path or hiking trail, play ball with your grandchildren, dust off the tennis racket. Just keep moving and have fun while you exercise.
Don’t do these 5 things when you exercise after 50
Don’t be a weekend warrior
Sitting all week and then overdoing it on the weekend can force you to sit all week recovering. Exercise throughout the week and you’ll find you are stronger and have more stamina for those extra outings on the weekends.
Don’t overdo a new exercise
It’s easy to want your body to respond like it did when you were 20 or 30. There is no reason why we can’t be strong and run the races, but be smart about it. Strive for endurance, take time to build up strength and stamina.
Don’t ignore pain
Long term damage of knees, back and other areas of the body can be serious. Listen to your body and know when to slow down or stop exercising. Check with your doctor or other practitioner just to make sure you can continue exercising and listen if they say you need to take time off.
Don’t forget to feed your body
Like water, proper nutrition before and after exercise is important. Muscles need to have the right nutrients to burn during exercise and to recover after. If you don’t want to be hurting for days after you work out, learn how to fuel your body.
Don’t give up
With extra aches and pains, it’s easy to slow down and not make exercise a priority. Don’t fall into that trap! Keep moving, do it for yourself, do it for those who love you. Stay active!
Disclaimer: Information found on this website or links to other websites are for informational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice. You know your body and your physical, emotional and mental situation. Consult your physician before making any changes.
Kristy Klenk has reached the 55 (and counting) birthday and finds this stage of life and aging an interesting adventure. Over the past 20 years she has been on a journey of living a holistic lifestyle and continues to research its positive effects on aging.
Disclaimer: Information found on this website or links to other websites are for informational purposes only and not intended for medical advice. You know your body and your physical, emotional and mental situation. Consult your physician before making any changes.