Hive Health Media

Top Reasons to Get Fit Over 50

It’s never too late to start an exercise program and the benefits to body, mind and overall sense of wellness are priceless. I’ll guess that you’re here for one or maybe even a couple of the following reasons but the fact that you’ve made the decision to get fit means you’re already on the road to success!

image credit:  Dr. Jeffry Life

Weight Loss

You used to eat everything and barely gained an ounce, but now that you’re over 50 it’s all going straight to the thighs! You already know that there are many weight-loss fitness programs but the only one you need is the one that you will commit to. Decide on a program or enlist the advice of a trainer, then commit yourself and enjoy the journey.

Suggestions for beginning a fitness program:

  • Walk – it’s a natural way to gain daily physical activity and the only gear you need is a good pair of footwear.
  • Swim – join a class at your local pool, many seniors communities have pools and swim classes for members; not only will you reap the weight loss benefits but the social activity will provide a boost for the day!
  • Bike – on a bike-ride you get fresh air and see the sights while improving your cardio vascular health and shedding pounds.
  • If weight loss is your 50+ fitness goal, commit to a program of walking, swimming or cycling for at least one month; I’m certain you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner plus you’ll be forming a habit you don’t want to break.

Heart Health

The doctor reminded you that a sedentary lifestyle puts you at risk for heart disease but this is one risk that you don’t have to take! Moderate aerobic activity like a brisk daily walk or more vigorous activities such as running and cycling will help you get fit, feel healthier and lower your risk of heart attack, high blood pressure or diabetes. Consult with your doctor if you have heart related issues for the best advice about an exercise routine that will work for you and then get on the road to good heart health.

Mental Health

Research shows us that regular exercise can help various mental health problems and may even improve the symptoms of mild depression. The choices we make about activities we engage in daily affect both body and mind and taking steps to improve our physical health overflows to a sense of emotional well-being. Exercise, while strengthening the heart and lungs, releases endorphins, a powerful natural chemical that uplifts and energizes. Add a daily dose of sunlight; 10 – 15 minutes in the sun will naturally lift your mood.

Relief for Sore Knees and Joints

Stretches, range of motions exercises and strengthening exercises can help reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis. These are suggestions for relief of pain in the knee joints:

  1. Hamstring stretches – warm up with a five-minute walk followed by stretches. Lying on your back, loop a bed sheet around your right foot and use the sheet to help pull and stretch one leg upward. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat twice and switch legs.
  2. Calf Stretch – using a chair for balance, bend your left leg and step back with the right slowly straightening your left leg behind you. Press your right heel to the floor until you feel tension in the back of the leg. Hold for 20 seconds and switch legs.
  3. Walking – it probably doesn’t sound appealing when you’ve got sore legs but walking is one of the best exercises for arthritis in the knees. Walking can help reduce joint pain, strengthen muscles in the legs and improve flexibility. There’s also the benefit to your heart health, and all you need is a good pair of walking shoes! Discuss exercises with your doctor if you have osteoarthritis.

Feeling Fatigued

Regular exercise will help combat fatigue! With an okay from your doctor, a routine suited to you can help manage stress, rev up the metabolism and increase stamina and energy. As we age we begin to lose muscle mass but combined with a diet low in fat and rich in good quality protein, resistance exercises will help rebuild muscle mass and set you back on track to a good night’s sleep and the energy you need to take on the day!

By Alice Lucette

Alice Lucette is an expert blogger for SeniorsZen.com.

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