Staying active in your 50s and beyond can be the best gift you give to yourself.

Exercise can improve your power ranges, preserve you at a wholesome weight, and even probably scale back a few of the signs related to getting older. Exercise can be good for your mind and emotional state in addition to your physique. Whether you’re trying to keep your present weight or to really feel extra energetic and wholesome total, there are quite a few methods to keep active when you’re over 50.

We suggest that you converse with your well being practitioner prior to beginning any new train routine or making modifications to your present one.


There are many advantages to staying active at any age, however for these
over 50, being bodily active may result in many
benefits that improve your high quality of life.

Here’s what some consultants we contacted had to say:

  • “The most important benefit for seniors from exercise is that it can add years to your life, but it will also most certainly add life to your years.”Paula Todd, Registered Fitness Trainer & Older Adult Specialist, The Fitness Network
  • “The more muscle mass that you have as you age, the more it will fight off a wiggly jiggly body caused by sarcopenia – muscle loss that comes when you don’t keep your muscles fit and firm. I am at 50 and living proof that if you lift weights, stretch and eat organic food you can stay fit, firm and fabulous forever!”Annette Spanski, Creator of Keep Life Simple 12 week Anti-ageing Program
  • “Healthy bones are essential to live a fit active healthy lifestyle. Bone health is an issue that you may not even think about until you actually have a fall and fracture a bone. Statistics show that poor bone health affects over 6.3 million Australians and this can lead to bone fractures which in turn can cause chronic pain, disability or loss of independence… It is really important to take some action daily to build and maintain your bones.”Donna Emerson, Personal Fitness Trainer specialising in Group Fitness & Strength coaching for girls 50+, Design Match50

There are a lot extra advantages too, which we go into under.

Increased power ranges and power

Exercise can construct muscle and bone mass,1 enhance cardiovascular well being,2 improve your power ranges and make you really feel stronger.3

Prevent sicknesses and illnesses

Regular train has been linked to a decreased threat or delayed growth of many sicknesses and illnesses, in addition to offering advantages for these with persistent situations, together with:

  • Heart illness and stroke2
  • Joint and muscle ache1
  • Type 2 diabetes5
  • Alzheimer’s5
  • Lung most cancers5
  • Colon most cancers5
  • Osteoporosis6
  • Arthritis7
  • High blood strain7
  • Breast most cancers8
  • Cholesterol8

Studies discovered that those that are match are extra possible to reside longer and delay the onset of sicknesses, with the most aerobically match folks usually growing persistent situations in solely the final 5 years of their life reasonably than the final 10, 15, or 20 years.5

Minimise the signs of persistent situations

Exercise can assist with a few of the signs of persistent situations or situations related to ageing. These embody:

  • Menopause signs9
  • Joint ache9
  • Weight achieve9
  • Lowered immune operate3
  • Poor digestion3

Stay unbiased

Exercise enhances your power and flexibility, which helps higher coordination and stability. By being bodily match, you may keep cell and unbiased for longer.3

Quality of life

By decreasing the threat of illnesses, minimising the signs of persistent situations, and retaining your independence, you’re extra possible to expertise a superb high quality of life and reside life to the fullest.

Boost mind and emotional well being

Exercise is well-known for having a optimistic affect on stress ranges by boosting temper and elevating the degree of endorphins in your physique. It’s additionally good for your mind as a result of it’s related to decreasing the threat of reminiscence loss, dementia, cognitive decline,3 and melancholy.11

Improve high quality of sleep

Exercise could even enhance the high quality of your sleep. One research discovered that,

by doing simply 150 minutes of reasonable to vigorous exercise per week, you can enhance your sleep high quality by as a lot as 65 %.12

Maintain a wholesome weight vary

As your metabolism slows with age, staying match and active helps you keep a wholesome weight vary, which is conducive to higher well being and linked with a lowered threat of growing persistent well being points.13


Clearly there are lots of well being advantages when it comes to exercising, however preserve in thoughts that what you do and how lengthy you do it for can be vital.

We requested some health consultants to share their recommendations on exercising over 50.

Here’s what that they had to say:

  • “The best piece of advice I tell my client base (which is 30–70’s) is find something you like to do for exercise. Your intention is important and that intention should be to do something that makes you feel good and have more energy. There are so many options – I love my Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Pilates, Yoga and also love getting out on my bike and riding for 60 kilometers on a beautiful day or just taking a walk along the bay. Do something that makes you feel good and enjoy it!”Dana Rader, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Gyrotonic Melbourne
  • “To remain fit, we should all exercise every day, in as many ways as possible. Walking 15 or 20 minutes daily is the very minimum, but for optimum fitness, walking needs to be complemented with regular strength training, balance and stability exercises and stretching and mobility work. Find a form of exercise that you love and do it with a partner or friend… You won’t find it a chore if you enjoy yourself, and you may actually find yourself looking forward to your exercise sessions.”Paula Todd, Registered Fitness Trainer & Older Adult Specialist, The Fitness Network
  • “Make exercise a part of your day – select the same time and days during your week so you don’t forget and it fits in with the rest of your week. It doesn’t have to be ‘slow and gentle’ – each client is an individual so work as hard as you can. Do it with friends and include cardio and resistance training.”Rob Hadley, National Master Coach, Australian Institute of Fitness
  • “Be active everyday, focus on moving more and sitting less by keeping track of your steps each day. Incorporate some form of resistance training twice a week to protect your bone health and maintain your strength. Try doing some balance exercises everyday. Stand on one leg while waiting for the microwave to go off. Include some core stability exercises such as pilates or yoga to improve flexibility, address past injuries and reduce back pain. Start small and gradually build up into a regular routine. Look for group exercise classes to make things fun and social. Seek out the help of an exercise physiologist for expert advice.”Anna-Louise Moule, Exercise Physiologist specialising in working with folks over 50, Balanced Bodies Lifestyle Clinic
  • “Whether we are talking about nutrition, staying fit, losing weight, mental health, social wellness or anything related to the overall health and wellness of a human being, I have found one thing to be indisputably true – we are all completely unique. Each and every one of us is singularly unique due to a combination of our genetics and our environment (epigenetics). Because of this, we all age in different ways and have different health and wellness needs past the age of 50. Therefore general health advice simply can’t apply to everyone… Figure out what works for you. An exercise plan, a specific diet, or particular creative outlet may be doing wonders for your friend, partner, or cousin. But you are not them, and what works for them may not work for you. Listen to your body, educate yourself, figure out what’s best for you.”Matt Riemann, personalised well being professional and CEO, ph360
  • “You are never too young or too old to act to protect your bones. If you are doing nothing at all, you will be losing bone mass. The same kind of exercises are effective for bones at any age, but the difference will be your capacity level. You will start slow at a level you are capable and comfortable doing and increase the intensity as you grow stronger. The level at which you start will also depend on your health.”Donna Emerson, Personal Fitness Trainer specialising in Group Fitness & Strength coaching for girls 50+, Design Match50
  • “One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that as we age we can’t do the things we did when we were younger. However, there are thousands of people out there proving this theory wrong every day. One of the biggest factors that causes us to deteriorate as we age is a sedentary lifestyle and quitting the healthy activities we did in our youth. There are people in their 70s, 80s and beyond still competing in competitive sport, so the limitations we have are the ones we impose on ourselves – simple as that.”Sam Theyers, Head of Fitness, Anytime Fitness

It’s by no means too late

Many folks beginning out with train in center age are discouraged as a result of they assume it’s in all probability too late to reap actual advantages. In reality, the reverse is true. Studies present that it’s by no means too late to begin realising advantages from train. One specific research confirmed wheelchair-bound nursing residence residents in their 80s and 90s experiencing advantages like enhancements in their power and total useful means from a weight-lifting train program.1

Some health consultants say it’s even potential to get into the best form of your life after the age of fifty if you’ve spent most of your life out of form.1

Keep an everyday routine

There’s no fastened method for the way a lot train you ought to do, because it is dependent upon your present degree of health and well being, your health targets, and whether or not you have any well being situations. Generally talking, nevertheless,

150 minutes of reasonable cardio exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio exercise every week, with every session lasting a minimum of 10 minutes, can result in substantial well being advantages.15

Make it well-rounded

Experts recommend {that a} well-rounded health routine incorporates three components: cardio exercise, power coaching, and stretching.9

  • Aerobic exercise – Aim for a minimum of three or 4 20-minute classes of cardio train every week, whether or not it’s jogging, strolling, swimming, dance, or another kind of exercise that will get your coronary heart pumping.
  • Strength coaching – Strength coaching helps you retain or construct muscle density and scale back the threat of again damage. Start with hand weights and do eight straightforward repetitions and construct up to 12 reps. This will assist you each construct power and strengthen your posture.
  • Stretching – Incorporate stretching and heat ups into your routine to construct joint flexibility and scale back the threat of damage or pressure. Try yoga, tai chi, or pilates actions as secure stretching workouts for standalone or pre-workout warm-up.

Keep it assorted

Change it up if you are losing interest of your common routine. Some persons are beneath the impression that they need to stick to ‘seniors-only’ workouts, but when you are able to safely doing extra strenuous types of train, you ought to do what you really feel snug with. This may be an aerobics class, biking, swimming, or dance.

Other forms of bodily motion may embody gardening, washing the automotive, climbing, golf, cricket, strolling up and down the stairs, or briskly strolling the canine. Always test with your physician if you have any doubts about what you can safely do.

Take it straightforward at the begin

If you’re out of form, it can be straightforward to really feel discouraged at the begin. Start out with small, achievable targets, like strolling for 20–30 minutes most days of the week, and then progressively incorporate extra train into your week. As consultants recommend,

a ‘small dose of exercise’ can have a big effect on your total well being.5

Challenge your self

After you begin exercising commonly, you may to discover that your exercises turn into too snug. This may be a sign that it’s time to improve the depth. Stay challenged by growing the variety of units or reps or by discovering a barely extra rigorous manner to get your coronary heart pumping. A research discovered that,

of a gaggle of 60- to 70-year-olds, people who had the most intense exercises skilled the strongest advantages – so make certain your exercises are remaining difficult.4

Stay alert to issues

If you’re simply getting began with train or you have a persistent situation, make certain you take it sluggish at the begin. If you take ache treatment, converse with your physician earlier than you begin your new health program.

Some widespread train challenges as you age are again ache, joint issues, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Ask your physician about exercising safely if you have a persistent situation, however in many circumstances, you can anticipate some pure muscle soreness when you begin out with train. Most types of train have the potential to help with all these situations, whether or not it’s by way of bettering muscle power or bone density.1

Track your coronary heart price

Try monitoring your goal coronary heart price to make certain your routines aren’t too straightforward or too intense.

Subtract your age from 220, and the ensuing quantity yields your most coronary heart price per minute.

During reasonable bodily exercise, you can anticipate to be at 50 to 70 per cent of your most coronary heart price, while throughout vigorous train, you can anticipate to be at round 70 to 85 per cent of your most coronary heart price.16

Alternatively, you can use the dialog rule to test whether or not your train is simply too vigorous.

When you’re beginning with reasonable train, you ought to be barely breathless however ready to proceed with a dialog and maintain this for a minimum of 30 minutes. As you progress to vigorous train, you’ll discover it tougher to speak in full sentences between breaths.17

Note that these are solely basic guidelines of thumb, so if you have any doubts, seek the advice of your physician for recommendation. If you take drugs that decrease your coronary heart price, converse with your physician about monitoring your coronary heart price throughout train.


Here are some concepts to assist you get began.

  • “I would suggest starting with stability exercises (that strengthen your ankles, hips, and core) before building up to full and more rigorous exercise routines. This will help to prevent injury, will ease you into a new routine, and will keep you motivated by allowing you to achieve small ‘wins’ while building up to more difficult exercise.”Matt Riemann, personalised well being professional and CEO, ph360
  • “Complete both resistance and cardio-based activity. Have a routine with specific days and times, allowing it to become part of your week. Perform exercises and activities that mimic and develop ADLs – squats, sit to stand, curl and press, walking, reach exercises, overhead activity etc. Compound exercise is best – squat, chest press, shoulder press, push ups, leg press, running, walking etc… You may be a bit slower and have less strength so warm up and cool down are imperative. Think if you have any conditions and see a doctor first.”Rob Hadley, National Master Coach, Australian Institute of Fitness
  • “If I had to recommend one single exercise that would benefit someone in their over 50s it would most likely be the single leg RDL (Romanian Deadlift). This exercise is a good all rounder, needed to be able to perform a proper hip hinge while balancing and controlling the rotation through the core and increasing muscle activation in the whole posterior structure. This will counteract the modern day posture of being hunched or sitting, and you really will get you bang for your buck with this exercise. Regressions for this exercise are simple (hip hinge, good mornings, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts).”James Brim, Personal Trainer

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise will get your coronary heart beating. As talked about above, you’ll need to be anyplace from 50 to 85 per cent of your most coronary heart price throughout cardio exercise. Brisk strolling, jogging, swimming, dancing, biking, water aerobics, climbing, snowboarding, heavy gardening, leaping rope, stair climbing, tennis, rowing, and kayaking are some forms of cardio exercise to think about incorporating into your train routine.

Weight coaching

Weight coaching can strengthen your bones and your muscle mass3, and it’s a necessary a part of any train program. This kind of train can incorporate weights, elastic bands, or machines.

Below are some nice weight coaching concepts.

  • Squats and push-ups can be accomplished with and with out weights. These strengthen the chest, arms and decrease a part of the physique. Try beginning with one set of 12–15 reps, and work up to three units.18
  • Planks are wonderful for the core space of the physique, and a easy plank works greater than 20 muscle mass in your physique. You can do against-the-wall planks to begin out. Hold for 20 seconds and work up to 60 seconds. Follow the identical rep and set program for squats and push-ups.18
  • Bicep hammer curls19 goal your higher arms, so you’ll really feel stronger when carrying issues round. While standing, maintain three to 4 kilogram dumbbells at your sides, palms going through your physique. Bending your elbows, carry the weights up to the chest whereas maintaining your palms going through one another. Stop when the weights contact your shoulders, and maintain for 2 seconds earlier than decreasing to the authentic place. Start with 10 to 15 reps.
  • Lateral and entrance raises18 strengthen your shoulders. Start with your legs shoulder-width aside and begin in the identical place as for the bicep hammer curl. Raise the weights till they’re parallel to the floor earlier than returning to the beginning place. Do two or three units of 10–12 reps.
  • Step ahead and raises20 are nice for the legs, shoulders, and core. Hold a weight between one to three kilograms in each palms whereas standing with your toes shoulder-width aside. Take a step ahead and carry the weight to shoulder degree whereas maintaining your again straight. Lower the weight and step again. Repeat with the different leg. Do two to three units of 8–12 reps.
  • Bench squats20 are one other straightforward weight coaching transfer. Stand in entrance of a chair or bench with your toes shoulder-width aside. Look straight forward as you bend your knees and decrease your bottom into the bench. Sit earlier than standing once more. Do two or three units of 8–12 reps.


Stretching workouts enhance flexibility and stability, supporting mobility in joints and muscle mass and maintaining your posture and stability in line. Ideal stretching workouts for these 50 and over embody yoga, tai chi, and pilates. If you have a particular again or joint concern, seek the advice of with your physio about doing the proper sort of stretches to loosen your muscle mass and joints.


In basic, there aren’t any actions which can be strictly off bounds to these over 50 as everyone seems to be totally different and what you ought to keep away from is dependent upon your health degree and whether or not you have any particular situations. However, there are some workouts you may need to assume twice about integrating into your program. For instance, leg extension machine exercises can put numerous pressure on the knees, pull-downs or pull-ups behind the head stress the shoulders, and plyometric or jump-training actions can pressure varied different components of the physique.21

It’s additionally a good suggestion to keep away from sprinting and heavy weights for related causes – they can put you at better threat of damage.21

  • “Risks can come in many forms: doing exercise which is not appropriate for your body; exercising too intensely; not exercising enough to make a difference; getting advice from poorly-qualified trainers. To minimise risks, start by discussing your ideas with your doctor and then seek out a trainer who has specialised knowledge in the field of training seniors. Exercise physiologists, personal trainers, gym instructors and group fitness instructors can all choose to do extra training to be qualified to work with seniors… In my experience, however, the biggest challenges that seniors face when exercising are actually the limitations they place on themselves. You know, those excuses we all come up with: “I don’t have the time to exercise”, “I don’t like sweating”, “I’m too busy with the garden/grandkids/housework” and the best one among all: “I’m not fit enough to exercise”. Another problem is the concern that it’s going to harm – and once more, that is the place steerage from a professional train skilled can be very useful”Paula Todd, Registered Fitness Trainer & Older Adult Specialist, The Fitness Network

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