Fitness for the Fifty Plus Crowd
Amintro is a great way to make new friends if you’re 50+. We’re NOT a dating service – instead, what we ARE is a safe, secure, Internet site “where grown-ups come to make new friends!” If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to go out, make new friends, get fit and enjoy life, Amintro is a great place to start. When January rolls around many of us think about making some changes and fitness often ranks high on our “to do” list. Today we’re exploring fitness tips for those who are 50+. Maybe you’ll discover a new type of exercise you can try with a new Amintro friend.
If you’re a “regular” when it comes to exercise this blog likely isn’t for you. You already have a routine and it’s working – Congratulations. Share some of your thoughts on exercise with fellow Amintronians and maybe find a new friend to accompany you on your workouts. If however, you’ve decided that 50 is the new 40 and are looking to get “back into shape” – read on!
- Start small. It should go without saying that if you haven’t exercised in years, you won’t be running a marathon any time soon. That’s ok. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise anyway and doesn’t put significant stress on joints like the knees and hips (which might be starting to act up a bit!) Walking at a brisk, even pace that elevates your heart rate for even 30 minutes a day is an excellent form of exercise and will help you feel better, possibly lose an inch or two and improve your cardiovascular health. It helps strengthen bones, improve muscle tone, and can reduce your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. If winter weather is a concern, consider joining one of those “mall-walking” groups that provide a safe, non-slippery way to get in your morning walk.
- Ever considered Yoga? Think you’re too old to start stretching? Yoga is a mindful form of exercise that you can even start from a seated position. Chair yoga for seniors (or someone just starting the practice) is an excellent way to start gently moving your body if you haven’t moved it for a very long time. You can do it both seated and using the chair as a support. When you’ve mastered chair yoga, you might be ready to take on a deeper practice. Yoga is excellent for flexibility, muscle strength and core strength. It’s also an excellent tool for working on your regular breathing and on breath control.
- Swimming is an ideal form of exercise as it literally puts no stress on your joints. Like everything else – start with some gentle stretches in the pool and perhaps just a lap or two at a moderate pace. Work your way up to swimming multiple laps at a fast pace. Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise and many local recreation centres offer reduced rates and dedicated swimming times and lanes just for seniors.
- Light resistance band or weight training is another great way to incorporate movement into your life. In what must be starting to feel like a mantra however – be sure to start slow! Even using larger soup cans to start, combined with gentle arm exercises, is fine. Work your way up to 1lb, 2lb, 5lb then 10lb weights. Remember – if you start too high, you might just feel defeated when things don’t go your way or you hurt something. If you’re 50+ chances are it took 50 years to get to where you are today and while it won’t take 50 more to get in shape, you should allow a generous amount of time to be gentle with yourself as you gain strength and momentum. The same will apply to any dietary changes you make along the way.
- Finally, in warmer weather – like the picture on our website demonstrates – biking is another excellent way to stay in shape and which won’t demand too much from your joints!
The simple message here is even at 50, feel free to move and get moving to feel free! Exercise is a known and powerful tool in your “preventing the effects of aging” arsenal so even if you’ve never exercised before, it’s literally never too late to start. Looking for a friend to join you in your fitness journey? Join Amintro day, make a new friend and walk, bike or swim your weight and worries away!
Written by Sheralyn Roman