As the saying goes, you don’t stop moving because you get old; you get old because you stop moving. If you’ve never been particularly active before, 50 is the ideal age to start. The benefits of physical activity increase with age and the importance of being active does too. Many people think that they’re too old or too tired to start an exercise regime and therefore they avoid it. Others think that it is more dangerous to exercise when older. These people are wrong – the only danger comes from not exercising at all. Don’t let age scare you away from being more active – it’s never too late to start.
Benefits of Exercise
- Through a regular program of strength training and cardiovascular work you can improve your muscle strength, help maintain bone density, improve your balance to prevent falls, and ward off serious illness.
- Strength training – free weights or weights machines – helps you maintain strength in your muscles for your everyday activities and it also speeds up your metabolism so you burn calories for longer after your workout.
- Stretching and balance activities improve your coordination as well as help your muscles work well as you get older. Make sure you warm up and cool down well before you start to exercise so the blood flow is enhanced to your muscles.
Tips for Better Exercise
- Recruit a workout buddy to help you keep enthusiasm for exercise as time goes by.
- Turn exercise into a social activity – go to the gym with your spouse, or take time at the weekend for a hike with your family. Maintaining social connections as you get older helps your mental health.
- Choose an activity you love so you are inspired to take part as often as you can .
- If you don’t have much money to spare, use household equipment to work out such as food cans and water bottles for weights, and you can stretch without any equipment at all.
Exercising Through the Problems
- If you are traveling for work, maintain your exercise routine by choosing a hotel with a fitness center. Or walk around the new town to see the sights.
- If you care for a sick spouse, invest in an exercise DVD so you can work out in spare moments. Or have a friend come round so you can get out of the house for a walk.
- Wait until you feel better after a cold or flu before you start exercising again.