Hitting a birthday milestone puts a lot of things in perspective. Years of inactivity and being sedentary can take their toll. Here’s the good news: Even if you’ve never been physically active, becoming fit isn’t that difficult, and after 50 is a great time to start!
Getting in shape after 50
Exercise is one of the best ways to manage some of the unpleasant symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, insomnia and lack of energy. It is also a great way to rev up your metabolism which naturally slows down as you age. Physical activity also lowers your risk for a plethora of diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
Being fit in your 50s and 60s means fewer chronic conditions and diseases later in life.
A study that examined midlife fitness and chronic disease outcomes in later life showed that higher fitness levels were associated with lower incidence of chronic conditions suggesting that exercise may be associated with lower rates of morbidity in older age. In the study, participants who were the least fit in their 40s and 50s developed the most chronic conditions early in the aging process, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, COPD, kidney disease, and lung or colon cancer.
Exercising is not just about weight loss and attaining a certain size during your 50s and beyond.
It’s about staying healthy, remaining independent and enjoying life just as you have for the last few decades.
Fitness has always been part of my life. In my 20s and early 30s, I was a fitness instructor, personal trainer and avid biker. I learned how to play tennis in my 40s, and when I turned 50, I added interval training to my fitness routine by taking some kick-butt classes at Orange Theory. In addition to my Orange Theory classes, I continue to play tennis regularly and enjoy a few four to five miles walks per week. My 50s haven’t slowed me down a bit!
With a little creativity, you can easily start an exercise routine after 50.
Here are a few useful and fun things to get you started: (aff):
Before beginning an exercise program, please consult your healthcare provider. Enjoy!