Exercise? I thought you said “extra fries.”
But seriously folks, we are living in a “treat yourself” era, with endless portions and bottomless fries. Unfortunately, when men (and women) get above a certain age, we know that too much of anything can cause bloating, fatigue, and in some unfortunately cases, the “meat sweats.” In addition to not being able to eat food like they used to, men over 50 start to see their bodies not performing the same way they used to. In some cases, this starts even earlier than 50. As we get into our final few decades of life, it is crucial to not underestimate the power and benefits of exercise.
Watching your caloric intake, nutrients, portions, and clean eating is undoubtedly important for all people, especially people over 50. But exercise is equally important, as it prepares you to face the next chapter of your life when exercise gets increasingly difficult.
Exercise should be done regularly (roughly 5x per week, at 30+ minutes each time), and can be tailored according to a person’s age and needs. Whether it be walking, swimming, lifting, biking, or a weekly game of tennis with friends, it is important to be in the habit of exercising regularly.
It is important for men who are over fifty to be careful when exercising. They may be required to modify their workouts based on any injuries they may have suffered in the past or any health concerns they may have, before they engage in a new exercise regimen.
Aging should not always be associated with a decline in health. While our muscles may become weaker gradually and our joints may turn stiffer as we age, exercise can help alleviate such concerns. It is not just above fifty but men at any age can benefit from faster recovery after exertion. Also, if they are careful about their lifestyle, they can remain fit as they age.
Variety Is Vital
Men who are 50+ should handle exercise routines moderately. This means they must not proceed without caution and should not rush into it. Warming up and cooling down are essential for men over 50. Your body cannot respond as quickly to what you’re doing, so it needs plenty of opportunity to catch up and then rest.
Exercise can, and SHOULD, be enjoyable. Especially if men are retired, they can treat their daily exercise as a way to stay busy and get out of the house. Mixing up your workouts isn’t just meant to prevent you from getting bored. It also is extremely beneficial to your body. If you switch up the length, intensity, and muscles used during your workouts, your body responds more and you will see greater benefit. If you do the same exercises daily, your body can predict what is coming, and eventually you will not see the same results. Activities can include running, walking, tennis, kickboxing, weight lifting, pickle ball, cycling (indoor and outdoor), swimming, etc.
If men introduce diversity in their routine, it will encourage them to stay healthy and motivated as well.
Lifting weights, assuming men do so in a controlled environment, can be beneficial as well. Therefore, it is important not to shy away from weights at the gym.
Initially, men should be diligent and ensure that they are comfortable with the weights they are lifting. The weight can be increased gradually as women become more accustomed to the exercise. Getting a personal trainer when first joining a gym can help you familiarize yourself with the equipment, the weights, the muscles used, and give you a toolbox full of exercises specifically designed for your body. It also helps to have someone keep you accountable, and keep you moving.
Factors to consider are that the movement must be smooth and seamless and should be in a safe range of motion. The regimen should ideally be tailored according to your needs. You should try for repetition, not weight or speed. You also need to switch up the muscle groups you’re working, as they will benefit (and grow more) from a rest day or two in between.
An important fact to consider when exercising, is that almost all endurance-based routines are cardiovascular ones. This includes walking, jogging and swimming. If it sets your pulse racing, it counts as an endurance exercise.
Cardiovascular exercises are essential at any age. Men aged fifty or above should develop the habit of doing one or more of the exercises mentioned above. They are simple and men will not need much (if any) assistance to do cardio as well.
Furthermore, endurance exercises improve an individual’s cardiovascular well being and are a stepping stone for a better lifestyle. For instance, pacing outdoors encourages people to breathe deeply and enjoy being in the open. It relieves stress too!
Any form of exercise will consist of flexibility, since every routine works different muscles and parts of the body. Balance can also be improved with stretching exercises.
Balance is key as men age. Falling is extremely dangerous the older we get. Balance also means our cores are engaged, and we are able to have stronger coordination and agility.
Doing so regularly keeps both joints and muscles flexible. It also influences organs such as the lungs positively. As we begin to stretch our body, our lungs expand and our breathing patterns become deeper. This is beneficial for the body.
Most importantly, stretching can give your body the opportunity to warm up before a workout, and cool down afterwards. Stretching is seriously underestimated, and stretching can be a form of exercise itself. There are many yoga classes for people over 50, or for people that just need a deep stretch. And believe it or not, there are even facilities you can go to in your community and pay someone to stretch you out! Oh what a world we live in.