This generation of boomers is the fittest and most health conscious one to hit our 50’s, yet. Because we are the first generation to hit this season with this level of fitness, we are also the only aging generation to be facing this second half of life with more health to experience the richness life has to offer. As a result, we are also in a unique position to challenge and change society’s misconceptions of what it means to age. Sometimes the misconceptions are our own roadblocks and we may need a little help in getting over them. It starts with identifying your roadblocks to getting fit for 50+:
- Feeling self conscious around younger, fitter people at the gym. Just remind yourself you are there and making a difference in your health today!
- Feeling intimidated with gym equipment or classes not yet tried. Keep in mind this is a great opportunity to learn something new, which keeps your brain fit, as well.
- The “some day” syndrome or better known as procrastination. I will get to it some day. That day is now, GO FOR IT!!
- “It takes a lot of hard work to change my fitness level”. It certainly does, but it is well worth it!
Don’t let those or any other road blocks hold you back. Consider some of the following people who may inspire you in breaking down those roadblocks:
- 100 year old Sid Cojac of Atlanta plays pickle ball twice a week and works out the other 5 days of the week.
- Seniors are starting second careers as personal trainers. The percentage of people over age 55 attending a personal training conference sponsored by IDEA Health & Fitness Association, a worldwide organization of fitness professionals, more than doubled from 2004 to 2011 — up to nearly 11 percent from 5 percent.
- 71 year old Annette Larkin of Florida has astounded people with her agelessness, looks 40 and credits raw food and a meatless diet with her amazing health.
- Needing an adventure for her 60thbirthday, Ginny Benware of Portland quit her job and hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.
If you are just getting started or contemplating getting started with a workout plan, keep it simple and manageable and focus on the four building blocks of fitness to get you over those roadblocks:
- Breathe! Take just 30 minutes a day to participate in an activity that makes you breathe hard. This increases your endurance and cardio levels. It just has to be intense enough to raise your heart rate, but not so intense that you can’t hold a conversation while doing it.
- Build muscles! Any kind of strength training with weights, exercise bands, kettle balls, or suspension training with your won body weight will build muscle. This also builds bone density and balance; all of which reduces your risk of falls.
- Get Balanced! Core fitness is a phrase all of us have heard about. This popular fitness approach revolves around exercises that challenge your balance and core stability. No gym is needed to do balance training activities. Brush your teeth standing on one leg, raising the other slowly and you will increase your balance and core stability.
- Stretch and Flexibility! As each year passes, we are all losing flexibility unless we are actively doing something about it. Flexibility and balance are closely related. Your balance is helped as you gain flexibility. Regular stretching gives you more freedom of movement and reduces muscle soreness and possible injuries from exercise.
Once your fitness plan includes the four basics, the sky is the limit to what you want to do and where you want your new life of fitness to take you.