Times have changed from the days of watching your favorite fitness VHS from the comfort of your home as Jane Fonda or Suzanne Somers coach you through your workout. Besides the upgrade from VHS to DVDs and Netflix, fitness has changed greatly through the years. Now more than ever people are trying to stay active and remain youthful rather than aging in front of the TV with their favorite daytime soap. The generation of baby boomers seem determined to keep doing things that they’ve done when younger or are more open to trying something more exciting and new. Whatever the case, they are wanting better health and a better lifestyle.
According to the Internal Health Racquet and Sports Club Association, the amount of people over 50 joining health clubs grew from 1987 to 2003 by 343% (now that’s a lot of people not letting age stop them!). Many feel that with the disuse of the body it can cause age related problems, and for some that may be the case. The Journal of American Geriatric Society had found that those 55+ whom are inactive have the risk of limitations in their mobility doubled, while those that stay active with vigorous activity have the opposite effect. Even those with the fear of cognitive issues including dementia can benefit greatly as The Journal of Neurology reported doctors finding that staying physically fit and active will not only improve your health but also help in sharpening your mind.
When it comes to fitness after 50 it’s vital to find exercises that will not only prevent the risk of injury but to also be safe and challenging. Before trying any new physical activity discuss your medical history and concerns with your doctor and find what exercises work for you. You may not be able to train like you did in your 20s but no one knows yourself better than you do, so always listen to your body and use modifications if needed to avoid any possible pain or discomfort.
Here are some exercises that will not only help change your body but can appear to improve your quality of life. Want to give yourself a bit of a challenge? Adding extra repetitions and weights to your workout routine will increase strength and greater the results.
1. FOREARM PLANK
1. You will begin by laying on the floor with forearms flat on the ground with your elbows carefully aligned with your shoulders.
2. Tighten your stomach as you raise your body up with the goal of creating a straight line.
3. Without dropping your hips you will keep that line from your head to feet for 30 seconds then resting for a minute before repeating. Those with any discomfort can plank with their knees bent to the ground rather than extended causing strain.
2. STABILITY BALL SIDE LEG LIFT
1.Begin by keeping the stability ball to your right as you kneel along side it.
2. With your right side leaning slightly on the ball, you will wrap your arm over.
3. Having that left leg elongated to the side, the right knee should be bent. You will slowly lift your leg and bring it back down gently about 10 reps per side and switch.
3. STEP UPS
1. Begin at the bottom of the steps with your feet flat on the ground.
2. With your right foot step up carefully raising the other foot off the ground placing it securely on the same step with your right foot.
3. Bring back the right foot carefully placing on the bottom of the step then slowly bring down the left foot to the floor. Repeating.
4. CHAIR FRONT ARM RAISES
1. Sitting in a chair you will hold a weighted ball by both hands with your palms facing in
2. As your arms are holding the ball, extend your arms forward.
3. With the ball resting on your lap and elbows slightly bent, raise arms to lift the ball repeating 10x holding for 3 seconds.
5. THE BICYCLE
1. Laying on the ground with your hands behind your head, lift your head up slowly off the floor.
2. Bending your knees and lifting your legs, you will tighten the stomach.
3. Bring the right knee up as you gently twist your body touching the knee to the left elbow. Switch to the opposite side after 30 seconds with a minute to rest in-between.
6. WALKING REGULARLY
Who needs a gym membership or expensive equipment if all you need to do is walk. If your motion is limited or you simply want to keep your blood pumping throughout the day during your daily errands or even just around the block, walking regularly is a simple exercise that can be performed anywhere and at any pace. Improving your cardiovascular fitness is proven to control weight, improve your flexibility and even improve your mood. Great for a little serotonin pick me up!
7. GO FOR BIKE RIDES
The spring is slowly creeping up around the corner and what better way to enjoy the weather than riding a bike. They say one simply can’t forget how but those in poor physical health should avoid this one as it involves great balance. Considered a low impact activity with minimal shock to your joints and body it’s effective and will have you soaking up the sun feeling good and helping in improving your health.
It’s not only 50+ that need to start focusing on a physically fit lifestyle but younger ages also experience muscle loss and reduced muscle strength by adults between 30 and 80 whom remain sedentary. By strength training you will find your body feeling stronger, younger and working better than you ever thought possible. A huge benefit when training is you’re lowering your risk of disease, while helping to achieve an increase in muscle mass and bone density.
Who says when you age you can’t feel young again? Make time during the day focusing on you and your health adding a protein shake to help with muscle recovery. Need a good pick me up to get started? Grab some new, cute active wear to give yourself a bit more motivation to get started and make yourself proud. Get ready to look and feel years younger…your future self will thank you!