I know you're already aware that working out in your 50s and 60s is not the same as in those energetic 30s and 40s! I hope you're also finding out that it's still possible to have an awesome, effective workout routine.
Let's dive into some vital tweaks that'll keep you fit and fabulous for as long as you want.
Listen To Your Body
It was never a good idea to power through aches and pains but now you certainly can’t get away with it! When you're attuned to your body's signals you can notice a decrease in flexibility or strength in certain areas and address it. You have a chance to adapt your workouts to what your body can handle, so you don't have to give up your favorite kind of exercise.
Work With Your Joints Not Against Them
Focus on preparation and recovery. A good warm up takes each joint through its natural range of motion and also gets the blood pumping through your body. Warm muscles and tendons are less prone to injury.
Holding a stretch for 30 seconds+, foam rolling and Epsom salt baths work wonders for recovery. The goal is to get out ahead of diminishing mobility so we don't turn into the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz!
Less Cardio, More Resistance Training
Muscles keep us looking youthful and maintaining strength and independence as we age. We start losing muscle mass as young as 30 (3-8% per decade) and this accelerates over time. We also lose about 1% of our bone density every year after the big 50. Strong bones are your secret weapon to staying out of the "I broke a hip" club. Grab a FREE WORKOUT with me
The only way to counteract this loss is to rebuild muscle and bone density. That's where resistance or anaerobic training comes into play. When we do this kind of exercise, be it weight lifting or body weight exercises, our muscles pull on our bones, prompting them to grow stronger. These muscles also help us stand tall, avoiding that hunched-over look!
Muscle isn't regained without protein. Divide your weight in pounds by half. That is how many grams of protein you need daily as a MINIMUM to grow and maintain muscle (170lb = 85g protein). The western diet is low on protein. It’s not very instinctive to get enough.
Balance Your Food
You know about a well balanced diet. Eat whole foods, drink half a gallon of water a day and consume as many vegetables as your digestive system can handle! Certain foods like dairy, coffee and wheat may start causing inflammation in your joints so they may need to be reduced or axed. Alas.
Check Your Calcium & Vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D are your bones’ best friends. Ask your doctor to check your levels and, if necessary, supplement with a soft gel D3 (take with fat) and Calcium Citrate (more readily absorbed than carbonate and does not cause constipation). Over 50s multivitamins are pretty good. If you research the upper limits or consult with a doctor, don’t be afraid to take more than the RDA. The RDA is just the minimum required to avoid deficiency, not what is necessarily optimal. Herbal teas such as nettle can be of great help too with calcium, magnesium and other good stuff.
So There You Have It.
Maintaining a workout routine after 50 doesn't require drastic changes.
Prioritize resistance training, mobility and body awareness with smart preparation and recovery.
Keep a balanced, protein-rich diet with Vitamin D3 and calcium supplementation if needed.
Here’s a checklist:
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Clara Depont is a certified personal trainer at www.claradepont.com where she trains women in their 50s and 60s. When she’s not writing blogs on how to stay vibrant, fit and happy she’s traveling in search of a forest or a sexy coastline. You can get to know her best through Weekly Emails, Instagram or Facebook. She is British and lives in New Mexico.
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