If you’re nearing fifty or have hit the big number, it can be pretty daunting, especially when it comes to fitness. So many questions with such few answers. How do I dress over 50? How do I get in shape at 50? How do I continue to look young?
I understand the frustration that comes with trying to juggle it all and let me assure you; it’s pretty valid.
Your whole life, you’ve constantly been in a whirlwind trying to take care of your family and ensure everyone is happy, be it your boss, partner, kids, friends, or anyone else. In this chaos of life, we tend to forget one crucial thing: nurturing our bodies.
If you share my sentiments on the matter, then you should know that it’s never too late to start. As the old saying goes, age is just a number, so why be afraid of it? So, if you are 50 and out of shape, this one’s for you!
Is 50 Too Late To Get in Shape?
No! It’s never too late to get in shape at 50, 60, or even 70. While working on your fitness might not give you a complete body transformation, it will improve your overall health tenfold. Your endurance gets better, and you feel so much more confident than you did previously.
But I will be honest with you. Being healthy won’t automatically make you twenty again. However, that shouldn’t be your aim anyway. The right way to think about it is that you’re improving the quality of your life and loving your body the way it deserves to be loved.
Tips To Get Fit After 50
With some simple steps, you’ll be on your way to living a healthier life. It’s not too late to take care of your health.
1. Prioritize Yourself
Spending some extra money on yourself is a good thing. We’re at an age where we’re used to taking care of everyone around us, so we tend to save money by compromising our own well-being. This needs to stop. Spend that cash on getting the right vitamins for yourself, or buy those delicious low-carb fruits that will supercharge your energy levels.
If you can spend hundreds of dollars on a new PS5 for your kids, this shouldn’t be put on the back burner.
2. Go All the Way
You’ve decided to ramp up your health, but that’s only the first step. Thoughts will just be thoughts unless you follow through with them with a game plan in mind. Many people get lazy after being more conscious for a week, which doesn’t do them any favors.
Trust me, I’ve been where you are, and it’s not easy, but stick to the plan, and you’ll see your aches and pains disappear. Don’t you want to give Superman rides to your tiny grandkids in the future?
3. Try Weight Loss Exercises at Home
One of the best ways to get in shape at 50 is to exercise at home. If the gym feels like too much effort, then there are alternatives to your problem. Start with a simple 10-minute workout and then gradually increase the time.
Finding motivation at home is pretty damn hard, but some simple tips like adding it to your calendar can help give you a much-needed boost.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
It’s just human nature to slack off when you don’t have anyone you’re answering to. Ask your partner or your friends to venture on this journey with you so you both can keep each other accountable for meeting your goals.
5. Strength Training
Working out when you’re over 50 or have just hit that age looks different. At our age, we’re losing a lot of muscle mass, which means strength training is crucial for our bodies to continue handling all that we put it through. Slowly incorporate 20-25 minutes of strength training; the results will blow you away.
6. Drink Enough Water
Go get up right now and have some water! I can’t stress this enough: water is the key to getting healthier in a short span of time. Not only does it lubricate your joints, it helps those cramps you’re having and makes your skin glow.
This is particularly important during winters when you don’t feel as thirsty or you avoid water because who wants to pee a million times a day?
But the thing is that you’re always supposed to have water no matter what. When your body yells at you for being thirsty, that’s a sign of dehydration, so don’t wait for the urge to consume a gallon of water and keep having a couple of glasses here and there.
7. Make a Fitness Plan To Lose Weight
If you’re doing random exercises and diets, it’s going to lead you nowhere. You need to set proper goals and benchmarks for yourself and then make a custom fitness plan that caters to your needs.
The first step is to understand your current fitness levels using pulse rate, BMI, your entire range of motion, how long it takes to walk, etc. Once you have that down, set your goals and then select your diet plan and exercise routine.
8. Use Walking To Get Fit After 50
For some people, strenuous activity is an absolute no, but there’s a solution for that as well. You didn’t think I was going to let you off the hook, were you? Just start walking! Walking is known to reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your heart health, and generally pump up your mood.
9. Speak to Your Doctor Before Starting
When we reach this time of our lives, consulting doctors should be the norm. Before you jump into anything related to your health, book an appointment just to be safe. Getting in shape at age 50 is a great idea, but you don’t want to do something that’s putting you at more risk.
10. Prioritise Stress Management
Apart from including low-carb fruits and veggies in your diet, you should also focus on your mental health, that’s been neglected for the last fifty years. Your daily nine-to-five, coupled with providing for your kids, takes a mental toll that is not talked about often.
Stress has been known to cause so many health problems, yet we continue to focus on the physical and neglect the mental. Whether it’s talking to an expert, going on a vacation, or self-care routines, prioritize peace and heal your inner child.
Answering Common Questions
What Is the Best Cardio After 50?
Walking, walking, walking. As I mentioned before, walking can really get your heart pumping, which means an elevated heart rate coupled with muscle movement. When it comes to cardio, there are many options available, but for someone our age, this is the exercise that’s least likely to cause injury and harm.
While it depends on your individual fitness level, walking is simply universal and can be done by anyone. Say no to flabby armpit fat and yes to a healthier life.
What Happens in Your Body When You Exercise?
Many parts of your body are impacted when you choose to work out. Some of them include stimulating bone formation and reducing the loss of calcium when you get older. Your veins are squeezed so more blood goes to your heart.
Additionally, you sweat, which causes harmful substances to leave your body.
But there’s more. When you’re breathing hard, your lungs try to keep up, which ultimately increases their oxygen capacity. Lastly, to supply energy to your muscles, your body breaks down sugar reserves, which causes you to lose fat.
There are way too many perks of being active that you can’t stay ignorant and reduce the quality of your life. No one said getting in shape in your 50s is easy, but in my experience, it is definitely worth it.
Which Fitness Activity Suits You?
There is no definitive answer to this, but it all boils down to what problems you’re experiencing. Personally, I had difficulty walking up stairs without getting breathless, pushing heavy doors, and walking for longer distances without feeling like I was exhausted. What helped me improve was a gym tonic.
It’s essentially a machine that is easy on your joints and helps build up muscle and bone density. After a regular session on this magical machine, I improved so much. All the huffing and puffing after going upstairs completely vanished.
The point is that there are multiple answers to your question, which I realized after going down my own fitness route. A good starting point is just identifying your day-to-day problems. Is it hard getting up once I sit down? Is It hard to walk around while I’m shopping? Once you know what you’re struggling with, talk to an expert, and they’ll guide you to the right path.
How To Start Getting in Shape at 50?
Now, I know there’s a lot of information in my word vomit that will take time to digest, but if you’re looking for a starting point, then hear me out.
Start easy. If it’s all too much for you to keep up with, then just start with small goals. Replace that late-night tub of ice cream with a granola bar, or start making meals at home as opposed to takeouts. When you go out, choose a lower-cholesterol food option rather than going straight for those delicious and deadly dishes. It doesn’t have to be complicated from the get-go.
For exercise, just use the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Stop avoiding things that take a lot of walking and just battle it head-on. It’s these simple changes that go a long way. Once you’re more comfortable with them, that’s when you go all in.
What Are Some Exercises That Reverse Aging?
While you can’t literally reverse aging, you can practice some exercises that can have results that seem like they’re taking you back in time. Aerobics is a great way to do that. This is a type of cardio that has numerous benefits and can help get you on your feet again.
Moreover, at 50, you can take a stroll, use push-and-pull machines at the gym or home, and even try some dumbbell movements. However, when it comes to weights, you need to consult your doctor, and a fitness trainer is a must. We don’t want to pull a muscle and end up with a world of pain and misery, now do we?
With these exercises and some reverse aging supplements, you’ll be set for life.
Can a Woman Get In Shape at 50?
The simple answer is: yes, you can.
With age comes more health problems looming over us like a shadow, especially for a woman who’s undergone childbirth and hormonal changes, but that doesn’t mean there’s no escape. While it takes more effort to get fit at fifty, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
I am a living, breathing example of all that you can accomplish with some hard work! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Should I Do Weights vs Cardio After 50?
Do both. The order, on the other hand, depends on your goal.
Do you want to be able to lift your grandchildren, or do you want to lose some weight and be more confident in your own skin? If it’s the latter, you should focus more on cardio because that’s excellent for weight loss, while if it’s the first one, go more for the weights.
This doesn’t mean you should skip out on one or the other, provided your doctor gives you the green flag; it just means that the ratio of your fitness routine should change based on what you’re trying to achieve.
Final Thoughts on How to Get in Shape at 50
The bottom line is that, yes, you’re fifty now, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. You can get in shape after 50. I am well into my 60s and more happy than I’ve ever been before. Being lazy is an active choice, one which we can’t afford anymore, so investing energy and time into getting healthy is not only a want but also an absolute necessity.
From what I’ve learned on my journey, the biggest hurdle is not having the confidence to start, but once you get into the groove, there’s a whole new world out there waiting for you.
Iva Ursano is a solo female traveler originally from Canada and currently residing in Guatemala. After hitting rock bottom in 2013, she completely reinvented her life at 52 years old, packed up two suitcases, and bought a one-way ticket to Central America. She runs a website for women over 50 to help them make the rest of their lives, the best of their lives while feeding street dogs and helping the less fortunate in the town she now calls home, Panajachel. You can follow her on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram (Street Dogs of Guatemala) (Women Blazing Trails)