The Three Best forms of Exercise for 50-Plus

by Alison McIrvin
The Three Best forms of Exercise for 50-Plus

Has a recent visit to the doctor left you with strict instructions to start exercising after a few too many years of not doing so? If you are over 50 and beginning to experience some of the normal signs of a–(we don’t say the “a” word, here), then starting a whole new exercise regime can not only seem a bit daunting, but confusing in regards to what to try and how to start.

We hesitated coming up with a list because we don’t want to send the message that there is anything you cannot do. However, reality is that some of us have joint issues, or old college injuries, or other health issues that may limit your options. After getting your Dr.’s ok, don’t stress about finding that “perfect” form of exercise for you. Half the fun is in the journey! This is a great opportunity for you to try out some activities you have wondered about or even told yourself you would never do. Here are some of the top ways to exercise for 50-plus individuals:

  • Pilates is a fabulous workout that has the lower impact that other body-weight exercises do. Pilates will challenge you as you build your core- the deeper abdominal muscles that also support the spine. As a result, back issues, posture, flexibility, and stability are all improved with Pilates. For those who have not exercised in some time, Pilates will help you to gain an incredible amount of flexibility. For all of us, bone density is increased in the spine and hip as a result of the standing leg exercises.
  • Aerobic activity is needed for a balanced workout routine. Fortunately, there are many options to challenge yourself aerobically such as power walking, light jogging, hiking, swimming, and cycling. If it has been a while, start with brisk walking for 5 minutes a few days a week. As you feel your heart rate responding, work up to 30 minutes of non-stop aerobic activity. One way to increase your aerobic capacity quickly is with interval training. Make sure you have your Dr’s ok for this.
  • Weight training is very important as we age. Bone loss is happening daily and weight training is one of the best ways to not only slow down that loss, but it can actually build bone density. Make sure to work with a personal trainer who is educated in training people 50+ and understands the various needs and potential modifications And women, don’t forget to get in on the action and learn weight training techniques for you! It is not just a guy’s thing!

There are countless other options out there for you to try. Join a local hiking group, cycle club, gym or YMCA to connect up with like-minded people. Whatever you choose, make sure to keep it fun and keep trying new options. Remember, the sky is the limit…hey!  How about skydiving, or paragliding, or…

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