Staying Physically Fit After 50

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Staying Physically Fit After 50

Everybody begins to slow down after reaching middle age which can be detrimental to your overall physical health.  Staying physically fit after 50 according to medical professionals by playing tennis is an excellent way to remain in shape and physically fit after 50.  As we all age, most of us begin to take life a little simpler, for example, instead of running for the bus we stroll knowing there will be another one right behind it.

So what is this the best approach to getting older?  Should we be more active, not less, after we hit that retirement age?  According to physical fitness professionals the response is YES you need to stay more active and as physically fit as possible.

The number one defining aspect of aging is the loss of our muscle mass which we lose muscle as a natural part of aging.  Our metabolism begins to slow down which triggers weight gain.  In addition the decrease in muscle mass also makes us mentally slower and physically weaker.  It’s been approximated that almost 80% of the over-50’s in the USA do little to no exercise.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cdc-80-percent-of-american-adults-dont-get-recommended-exercise/

The advantages of exercise for individuals in their 50s, 60s and 70s have been extensively documented.  Not only does it enhance joint movement and boost physical strength and energy, but it can help you sleep deeper, increases cognitive functions and aid to prevent health problem and illnesses.  So why aren’t more senior citizens joining health clubs, playing tennis or signing up to physical fitness classes?

Part of the issue of not having a regular exercise regiment is partly psychological.  As individuals move into retirement they begin taking it much easier due to the fact that they believe they need to.  They have worked all their lives and they think that it is now time to rest more to preserve their bodies.  They possibly played a sport like football or tennis when they were younger and quit playing since they believe less physically active requiring sports like golf or swimming were more appropriate and much safer.

Exercise for older people can have just as numerous mental and physical rewards, such as reducing tension, stress, anxiety and depression.  Individuals who all of a sudden find themselves with all this extra time on their hands that are no longer working often feel like they have lost their sense of purpose and identity as to who they are.

Due to the fact that an exercise regiment boosts the feel good chemicals in the brain and assists to enhance body image, it can and will help avoid this typical psychological depression.

It’s all about your lifestyle and this doesn’t just imply being able to get up and down the stairs with ease or having the energy to do your chores, it’s also about feeling great too. When you are stronger from exercising and more physically fit you feel it and that gives you better mental strength.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/10/exercise-mistakes_n_2080901.html

Preserving your mental strength has something to do with a secretion of a protein called BDNF, which dramatically reduces the potential of dementia and other cognitive diseases. This protein helps promote the repair and regeneration of both nerve and brain cells and is really active in the locations of the brain linked to memory, discovery and deeper thinking. Exercise has actually been shown to increase the secretion of BDNF, which is why it can considerably decrease the danger of dementia and other cognitive illness.

Believe it or not, our brains actually start beginning to slow down when we reach the age of 30. The truth is individuals can train their brains to operate better and faster at any age. Regular physical activity can minimize the physiological modifications that accompany age. Older adults can and will benefit from exercise but may be less than for younger adults.

The best sharpener for your cognitive health might not be jumping into a crossword puzzle but slipping into your gym shorts and getting out there and getting physical playing tennis, speed walking or swimming.

Ideally, a physical activity program for people over 50 should consist of a combination of balance, extending, cardiovascular and more importantly, weight-training exercise.  It is very important to match the program to the individual’s capability however, which is why starting with with a professional physical fitness trainer.

It may take longer to ease into a new work out program and you need to be aware of the wear and tear on your joints and muscles.   Your recovery time may take a bit longer than when you were younger because everything is slowing down.  Even if you can’t jump around with a barbell on your back, you can still do bodyweight squats or get on a leg press and begin building up your muscle mass.  It’s all about knowing how far you can push yourself.

The best ways to remain in shape after 50

Warm up properly

It takes longer to get your muscles working as you grow older because the various systems take a little bit longer to fire up.   You should perform a light five-minute warm up first such as stretching or a quick jog to get your blood pumping.

Mix it up

Don’t keep doing the exact same thing day in day out and switch up your routine frequently.  If you lift the exact same weights or run at the very same speed all the time you won’t get any stronger or fitter.  Integrate some interval training, combining low and high intensities, or switch up some classes into your physical fitness program.

Don’t cut it short

You need to exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes a day to gain any health benefits so your objective is to work out for around half an hour to 45-minutes each time. As you get more physically fit you can and should increase this to a full hour.

Work your core

As we age our core strength suffers, which can lead to bad posture and a sore back, bad knees and hips.  So ensure you integrate some core-strengthening workouts two times a week.

Keep it consistent

If your running for the very first time, use a metronome and set it to 180 beats per minute. This guarantees you take much shorter strides and limits effect on joints.