Want to start a fitness program, but don’t know how to begin? Below are 11 tips for getting fitter after 50 (or at any age, for that matter!) Each week for the next 11 weeks, we’ll explore one of these tips in greater detail.
If you like an activity or sport, you are more likely to do it! Duh! So go explore and find something you enjoy!
2. Find fitness friends.
Fitness friends make exercise fun and help hold you accountable. If your friends are counting on you to be there to go for a run, walk or bike ride, you’ll be more likely to show up, even when you “don’t wanna.”
3. Start small.
Start small and build. If you haven’t been active in years, walk five minutes. Then six minutes. Then 10. Before long, you’ll be walking 20 minutes or more.
4. Be consistent.
The biggest gains in fitness come from being consistently active over time. Your body remembers the movement you made yesterday. And it improves on that movement tomorrow. Every time you get out and move it is easier to do it the next time. AND it helps engrain a great habit.
5. Start from where you are and be patient.
Accept yourself where you are today. By consistently being active, you’ll be a much happier, fitter version of you in the future. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to where you were 20 years ago, to the guy down the street or the woman next door.
6. Make a plan to get fitter after 50.
A dream is just a wish without a plan. You’ve got to make it real. So make a plan for getting fitter after 50. Make it measurable. Reward yourself for milestones. Focus on HOW you get there.
7. Make the commitment real.
Write it down. Sign it. There. You’ve made a contract with the most important person in your life – you!
8. Set yourself up for success.
Think through your obstacles and plan how you are going to overcome them.
9. Challenge yourself.
While you should start small, don’t be afraid to push yourself. And dream big.
10. Strength train whether you like it or not.
On average, inactive people lose 8 percent of their muscle mass per decade over age 40, and the loss picks up speed over age 50. Less muscle mass means more fat. Less and less ability to do everyday things, like get out of a chair, push, pull and lift. Less coordination and balance.
So suck it up, buttercup, and do strength training for your basic body parts at least two times a week! It is critical for getting fitter after 50!
11. Forgive yourself when you fall short.
First, learn from your mistake. Figure out what you can do to overcome that obstacle in the future. Second, forget about it. It is over. One day without exercise will not render you a coach potato. Getting down on yourself and mired in defeat can lead you back to square one. Let it go and get going!