Embracing a healthy lifestyle grows in importance as we age. Although it’s something everyone should be striving towards, it’s even more important for those aged 50 plus.
As we age, the risks of health complications increase. High blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes are just some to watch out for. While it’s not guaranteed you’ll develop these conditions, the threat is there.
The best way to combat this threat is to live a healthy life. One aspect of being healthy is being active, such as exercise. The good news is that it’s never too late to start your fitness journey. Here are five fitness tips to guide you on this new adventure.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
The first thing to remember is that you’re not in a race. You don’t have to jump into the deep end and start exercising every single day. Doing exercise your body isn’t ready to do will only result in injury and setbacks.
Instead of starting with long, intense workouts, opt for gentle exercises and gradually increase the intensity and duration. Remember, progress is a personal journey, so focus on improving at your own pace.
Prioritise strength training
As we age, maintaining muscle strength becomes crucial for overall health. Not only do strong muscles support bone health, but it also helps with balance, everyday activities and protects from injury.
You should incorporate strength training into your fitness routine at least two or three times a week. Start with light weights or resistance bands and gradually increase the load as you build strength. Target major muscle groups such as the legs, arms, back, and core for total body support.
Don’t forget flexibility
Flexibility exercises are essential for maintaining joint mobility and preventing stiffness. By incorporating stretching into your fitness regimen, you’ll improve your flexibility and range of motion.
Yoga and Pilates are excellent practices that combine strength, flexibility, and mindfulness. Even a few minutes of stretching daily can be beneficial, each minute reducing the risk of injuries and promoting relaxation.
Put enjoyment first
Your fitness routine shouldn’t feel like a chore. If you hate your chosen exercises, you’re more likely to abandon your fitness journey altogether. That’s why finding an activity you enjoy and look forward to doing is important.
Explore different activities and find what brings you joy. Whether it’s dancing, gardening, golfing, or joining a group fitness class, finding activities you genuinely enjoy increases the likelihood of sticking with them in the long term. Consider involving friends or family members, as exercising together can create a support system.
Listen to your body
The most important part of your fitness journey is knowing your limits. Pushing through pain and discomfort will only lead to serious injuries.
Pay attention to how your body feels during exercise. If something doesn’t feel right, modify the activity. Certain health conditions might require guidance from a doctor or instructor. If you’ve recently gone through serious health complications, such as heart surgery, you’ll have to slowly ease back into exercise with guidance from a heart specialist. Remember, fitness should enhance your well-being, so always prioritise safety and avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits.
You can teach an old dog new tricks!
It’s never too late to turn your life around for the better. While ageing is a natural part of life, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it gracefully and healthily.
So, what are you waiting for? With these tips in mind, there’s nothing holding you back from a healthy life. Let’s go!