How to get fit at 50
Fitness is one of the most essential parts of living a healthy and happy lifestyle. It has a massive range of benefits, and no matter who you are or where you are starting from, it has something to offer you. People seem to follow the idea that age is an exception to this rule, however, but we're here to try and nip that in the bud; starting with looking at how to get fit at 50.
Getting started might not be the easiest thing to do, but it rarely is, no matter what age you start. It's a big lifestyle change, after all. The first step to doing it? Learn the basics about what you need to know, what you want to achieve, and how to get there.
First of all, is exercise. That may go without saying, but exercise is so diverse than it can be a little daunting. There's way more to it than just heading down to the gym or going for a run. Let’s look at your options.
The world health organisation (WHO) recommends that we get around 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. That can be any combination of things, but that's what recommended for a healthy lifestyle. So what should you do?
Types of Exercise
The main types of training styles out there are focussed around weight training and cardiovascular exercise. Depending on your fitness goal, they both should have more than enough to offer you. In an ideal world, you should really be doing a healthy balance of both the reap all of the benefits possible, but that’s not always practical. Here are the key factors of each:
- Increased Strength
- Greater Bone Density
- Improved balance
- Joint protection
- Metabolism increase
- Lung function
- Heart function
- Stamina build-up
- Muscle gain
- Weight Management
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Increased Flexibility
- Improved Balance
- Stress Management
- Increased Core Strength
So, once you have found the right balance to fit what you want to do, how's best to go about doing it? Well, the same thing applies here too. There are so many different ways to train out there, finding the one that suits you is always easy to do. Once you find an exercise that you enjoy, you’re likely to find your workout routine much easier to stick to and keep the motivation going as well. That’s awesome. Here are a few training styles:
Doing cardio exercise at a standard rate for a set amount of time or distance. This is often the case with using a cardio machine.
High-Intensity Interval Training – Training in short bursts over a 15-20-minute period to maximise calorie burn and minimise time
Low-Intensity Steady State – Training at a light pace over a prolonged period of time like power/incline walking or light cycling. This makes exercising less strenuous and possibly more relaxed while burning calories.
One of the most effective ways to do strength training is by using compound exercises. They are exercises (like these) that use more than one muscle per exercise in order to work more muscles at the same time, maximising progress.
4 x 10 Sets
Compound exercises aren't everything, though. Even if they are your choice, you still need to know what to do with them. Probably the most common way to exercise with weights is using the 4xset set style. That's doing each exercise 10 times in a row, and then repeating that for a total of 4 times, resting in between them.
So those are the most common ways for you to start exercising and some of the most popular options to do it. Outside of the actual exercising too, though, there are some ways to be a healthier person and live a healthier lifestyle that helps you maintain your fitness too. Some of it does involve your exercise routine and motivation, but it's useful to take all of the points into consideration if you’re really trying to get fit at 50.
First of all, you need to find a way to keep motivated. Motivation is everything if you’re trying to get fit. If you get bored or demotivated, you’ll likely give up long term. Try and find a way to exercise that you can enjoy and that fits into your lifestyle and schedule. Make it enjoyable however you can do!
Tracking progress of being a fitter person isn’t always easier. You may think you should lose weight, build muscle or improve your stamina, but doing all of them at the same time will likely result in little to no progress. Make sure that you set strong and realistic goals that you can keep an eye on. That’s the best way to really see your progress.
Use exercise to socialise too. This is a point that a lot of people don't even think about. Exercising doesn't have to be going to the gym for a workout five days a week. Why not join a running group and make some friends? Get a gym buddy or join a sports team. There are way more ways to get active than you might think about! (Take a look here for ideas)
Finally, one incredibly important point to look at to get fit at 50 is how it affects your mental state as well as physical. Exercising has a huge range of mental benefits. That much we know. Exercising means you're actively making a positive change to your life and your body, and that ripples to tonnes of other areas of life too.
Overall, getting fit at 50 is definitely not out of the ordinary. No matter what age you are, there are improvements to make to your fitness and even more benefits to exercise in later life. Find a way you can train in a way that suits you and go from there. Start small, don't run before you can walk, and keep things realistic. Anything else is just a bonus.
If you're still not quite convinced, here's an article from the BHF with a few tips of their own.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.