As we get older it’s normal to lose muscle definition and fitness, and it can be harder to gain strength and stay fit and healthy.
Even those of us that enter midlife fairly fit can find it hard to maintain our levels, and people that have never exercised can find muscle and fitness decreases to be more dramatic.
But nowadays more people are staying fit, or even becoming fit for the first time, in their fifties.
Here are some tips to help you to increase your fitness levels once you’ve passed 50.
Find a Good Gym
Gyms aren’t for everyone, and if you are a little older you might feel very nervous about walking into a gym full of younger, fitter people for the first time.
However, working out at a gym is a great way to stick with an exercise regime and hit your goals.
A fitness center like https://55fitness.com/fitness-and-wellness-programs/ for those over 55 is a great place to make and meet fitness goals.
You’ll have plenty of support and encouragement, and get a chance to meet like-minded people of your own age.
Check-In with Your Doctor
Before starting, or increasing exercise, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor. This is especially important if you have any health concerns, joint issues, or other worries.
They’ll be able to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do based on your current health and medical history.
It’s also worth seeing a doctor if you are already exercising but experiencing pain or aren’t getting the results that you might expect as there might be an underlying cause.
Take It Slowly
Whether you are starting exercise for the first time, returning after a break, or increasing intensity, it’s important to take it slowly.
Give your body time to adjust and to build both strength and stamina before you add time or intensity to your workouts.
Even if you feel comfortable, stick to small increases, and don’t be scared to take a step back, or to stop, if you are uncomfortable.
Listen to Your Body
It’s normal to have some aches and pains following exercise. These usually aren’t anything to worry about, but you should learn to listen to your body.
Get to know what feels normal for you, both during and after exercise. If your body is telling you that something is off, stop or take a break.
Find Exercises That You Enjoy
We’re all more likely to stick to things if we enjoy them and look forward to them. When it comes to exercise, some people enjoy going to the gym or getting sweaty in the long run.
But these high-intensity exercises aren’t for everyone, and they certainly aren’t the only way to build fitness.
You may prefer something gentler, like swimming or yoga, or something more social like walking with friends. Explore different options until you find something that you’ll want to make time for.
Include Strength Training
Many people of all ages make the mistake of focusing on cardio exercises like jogging when they are looking to build fitness. While cardio is important, especially when it comes to improved cardiovascular fitness, it should be teamed with strength training for the best results.
As you get older, gaining strength is more challenging, but it’s also more important, as it will keep your body strong, making your cardio work, and day-to-day life more comfortable.
Weights are a great way to build strength, but if you prefer body weight exercises like yoga and Pilates can be just as effective and far more relaxing.
We’re more likely to do things if they are written down in a diary or on a calendar, or booked in.
Booking places at exercise classes, booking train tickets for a day out walking, or just writing your plans down can help to make sure you go through with them.
For some people, even telling another person that they are going to work out the next day, can be enough to give them a push.
Fuel Your Body
Many of us gain weight in midlife and often turn to exercise as a way to combat these gains.
While you might not want to eat more if you want to lose weight, it is important that you eat the right things and give your body the fuel it needs to exercise and recover. There are some excellent ideas here.
More people are still fit and strong in mid and even late life than ever before, and there’s no reason why you can’t join them and be fit at fifty and beyond.