Tips for Exercising When You’re Over 50

Turning 50 is the start to a new chapter in your life and should be viewed as “The Next Great Adventure” and not the status quo of “just getting older”. One of the biggest factors in making these the BEST years of your life is to live a healthy and active life that includes consistent exercise.

Your body will go through several changes; some are just a sign of getting older and can be controlled, while others are completely preventable. According some of the benefits of exercising for those 50+ are:

• Exercise reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. The many benefits of exercise for adults over 50 include improved immune function, better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density, and better digestive functioning. People who exercise also have a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and colon cancer.

• Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in older adults. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Living over the age of 50 is a great time and when you exercise you’ll have the ability to do almost anything you want because you’ll have the energy and the strength to make it happen. Follow these simple tips to get started on Living The BEST Years of Your Life!

Start Walking. 15 – 30 minutes of walking, four days a week, is a good way to get moving. You don’t have to speed walk or move at a certain pace. You just have to move.

Know Your Starting Point. If you haven’t exercised lately, it’s important to start slowly and build yourself up to the point where you’re moving as quickly as you’d like. This is not a race!

To help prepare for exercise, stretch. Flexibility improves your balance and helps reduce injuries to your joints. If you’re worried about falling, seek out a tai chi or yoga program to help improve your strength and balance.

Don’t let fear get in the way of physical activity. While you need to take some precautions, it is no secret that the older we get the more fearful we become of falling which can make you more reluctant to get up and move. But regular walking and moving can build confidence and strength and actually reduce your tendency to fall. If you’re worried about injury, talk to a health professional before starting any exercise program.

Don’t limit yourself to seniors-only activities. You don’t need to stick to seniors-only classes. You should try out different classes to see which best fits your lifestyle, interest and fitness level. Check out the instructor and facility then GO FOR IT! It doesn’t have to be age-specific. A class with a mix of ages might be livelier and give you a fresh perspective.

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