Whilst it may seem a daunting task to ‘get fit at fifty’ it most certainly shouldn’t be.
The benefits of being active can be seen from a broad range of activities that need not be strenuous – simply walking, biking or gardening can work wonders. Age is merely a number and in fact recent research has found many over fifties are giving the younger generation a run for their money when it comes to fitness! It really is never too late to get up and at ‘em and the benefits can be huge both physically and mentally.
Of course, losing weight and being impressively fit has it attractions (!) but moreover, you can significantly reduce the risk of chronic conditions. This may be heart conditions such as a stroke and heart attack, but also include type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and degenerative musculoskeletal disorders too. It is important never to underestimate the mental wellbeing benefits too.
Research has shown the positive impact on anxiety and depression and even linked exercise with a reduced risk of Alzheimers. Plus, the social aspect of being active with a friend can make the prospect of getting fit at fifty more fun and lead to a healthier, happier you.
So, here’s our three top tips to set on your way to getting fit at fifty.
How to Get Fit at 50
1. Have Accountability
Having accountability – whether in the form of a fitness coach or a friend, can be a big motivator to sticking to your targets and goals.
Exercising with a friend often makes the experience more fun and can be a great opportunity to catch up! Moreover, with a friend at your side you are more likely to stick to your commitments and it may even bring out a competitive side so that you work harder than you would on your own.
Plus, a second person can often make being active cheaper by splitting the cost of equipment or even a personal trainer. If you are struggling to find someone as keen as you to get active a quick search for a local walking, cycling or running group should find you an activity you can join.
For help with accountability – sign up to fitness drum, with built-in reminders and daily habits.
2. Set Targets
Be realistic with these. It is important to not push yourself too soon and it may even be worth consulting with your doctor on recommended activities you can do, but once you have a plan give yourself a target to work towards. Simply scheduling in a regular amount of exercise throughout the week, alternate days for example and then sticking to that plan can make the process much more rewarding when you realise you have achieved what you set out to achieve!
If you fancy pushing yourself a bit further, sign up to a marathon – but make sure you give yourself plenty of time to train! There are some handy apps that can help you build your fitness at a steady rate that might be worth looking into.
3. Find an Activity you Enjoy
This certainly makes the quest for fitness much more manageable. The opportunities to get active are endless so take the time to try a few; walking, cycling, yoga, Pilates, team sports, water sports, swimming – if you find something you enjoy, you are more likely to stick to doing it.
Scheduling time to be active has become more of a necessity now than in previous generations. Unfortunately employment nowadays tends to involve long periods of sedentary behaviour whereas previously, the demands of a job usually involved manual activity.
Whatever the demands of your everyday lifestyle, it is super important you find ways to integrate activity into your daily routine, and when you do, you will certainly feel the benefits.