As we age, our health is more important than ever, but what about our fitness? Often, we think about health in terms of numbers from our doctors. But what do we take into consideration to be deemed fit? How do women over 50 assure fitness?
Fitness is defined as a condition of being physically fit and healthy.
Clearly, health and fitness go hand in hand, so why does fitness often get put on the backburner? Simply put, getting fit after 50 is daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. While there are no shortcuts to fitness, that does not mean it has to be complicated. I’ve created this guide that gives you five clear steps for achieving fitness for women over 50.
Print this page out and check off the steps as you go!
Take charge of your health and take charge of your fitness. Let’s do this.
#1 GET YOUR BASELINE
The very first thing you should do is speak to your doctor about your plans. She can guide you and let you know of things that you should be cautious of, in terms of your fitness.
To know where you want to go, you need to understand where you are. Your doctor can help you with this as well. Chances are, for the majority of people who are looking to start a light-to-moderate exercise program and are planning to increase their exercise appropriately and gradually, you won’t need any special testing. However, it is appropriate to consult with a healthcare provider if you:
• Do have concerning symptoms at rest or during exercise
• Do have certain medical conditions and want to start a
vigorous exercise program
Invest in Fitness Technology
If you’re a follower of the Honey Good blog, you’ve likely read me wax poetic about just how much I love my Apple Watch. I firmly believe that everyone should invest in one if she is able. This is an article on how Embracing Serendipity led me to get an Apple Watch. You can get an Apple Watch here.
Benefits of the Apple Watch:
- Tracks activity
- Reminders to get moving
- Compete/share progress
- Detect low or high heartrates
- Fall detection
- Tracks sleep
- Monitor your blood oxygen level (some models)
- ECG reading (some models)
This is a great video on the benefits and features of an Apple Watch for women over 50.
After that, you are ready to begin.
#2 CREATE A PLAN SPECIFICALLY FOR FITNESS FOR WOMEN OVER 50
When considering fitness for women over 50, age, unfortunately, is more than just a number. By the age of 75, 50% of women do not engage in any physical activity. This doesn’t have to be you. Create a plan. Write it down and take your first step.
Consider Including in Your Plan:
- While, yes, this article is focusing on physical fitness, that does not mean that nutrition should be neglected. Why? For one reason, you want to be sure you are getting all of the nutrients that will ensure your body will perform at its optimum level. Being conscious about your diet is key. Secondly, if you are carrying around extra weight, this will inhibit you from getting fit.
- This exercise for the mind and body is great because it is low-impact. Don’t know where to start? Look for an online class or even a YouTube video. This video is perfect for absolute yoga beginners and offers modifications for each pose. Yoga is a fantastic way to gain fitness for women over 50.
- I have to admit, this is my favorite activity. It can be done anywhere (and I love nature!) and with no special equipment. Our bodies were literally built for it. And, yes, it will absolutely improve your fitness.
- Whether you’re swimming in a hotel pool or at the local rec center, this activity can bring you back to your childhood. Not to mention some of the muscles from your youth!
Mix it up:
- High intensity doesn’t have to mean high-impact. This is great news since HIIT workouts are great for your fitness. A study showed that subjects who performed HIIT (high-intensity interval training) experienced an improvement in their mitochondria. Mitochondria are responsible for creating energy within cells. This improvement was especially pronounced among the older participants. Pretty exciting! Here’s a great video 10 Minute FAT BURNING HIIT | High-Intensity Low Impact!
- You lose muscle as you age– as much as 10 pounds of muscle in a 10 year period. But they don’t have to stay gone. A researcher found that among more than 1,300 adults over the age of 50, could increase muscle mass by an average of nearly 2.5 pounds in just five months. Resistance training counts, too!
- Balance becomes more and more important as we age. For one, a fall could cause a ripple effect of serious health problems. Dancing is a fantastically fun way to exercise and focus on balance. This is why I belly dance!
- Been a while since you practiced your favorite sport? It’s time to pick up that racket/club/ball. Or why not pick up a new sport! Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport for the 50+ crowd.
#3 TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to get started. And tracking your achievements will only help. According to research published by the American Psychological Association, the more often that you monitor your progress, the greater the likelihood that you will succeed in a goal that you’ve set. Whether you’re using an app on your phone, or a plain calendar with gold stars, seeing your progress will move you further still.
Be sure to read this blog on How to Build a New Habit and Make It Stick!
#4 EVALUATE YOUR PROGRESS
Another important tip for fitness over 50, is to be honest about your progress. Schedule a weekly or bimonthly review of your plan and the progress you’ve made. It will be rewarding to look and see what you’ve already accomplished.
#5 MODIFY YOUR PLAN
Be sure you tweak as needed. That’s completely alright. No need to be rigid with your lofty goals. If you see that it is unrealistic to workout 2 hours a day, then change it. Progress, not perfection is the goal here.
Or maybe you’re killing it and it’s time to bump it up. Go for it!
#1 Get your baseline
#2 Create a fitness plan
#3 Track your progress
#4 Evaluate your progress
#5 Modify your plan
See how simple creating a fitness plan for women over 50 can be? I hope you’ll get started sooner than later.
What do you do to stay fit after 50? Please let me in on your secrets and share in the comments.