50 Is Nifty, So Get Yourself Into Shape!

When you were in your 20’s and 30’s you most likely never gave much thought of growing older. Yet, before you realized what happened, you turned the big 50! Where did the years go and how in the world did you get so out of shape? Cheer up. Turning 50 isn’t the end of the world and many men and women who hit the 50 mark admit to having gained enough wisdom to really make an amazing life for themselves.

If you are out of shape, no worries. By incorporating exercise and a healthy fitness routine into your lifestyle, you can turn 50 into nifty. Below are a few ideas to keep your body young and your mind sharp.

Strength Training

As our bodies age, we tend to lose muscle tone. Stronger muscles make for stronger bones and increase our stamina. Toned muscles also burn more calories. Strength training can be done in the privacy of your home or at your local gym. Simple exercises such as sit-ups, pull-ups, and weight training are excellent methods to tone up those muscles.

Balance

Muscles are essential for balance and if not used will grow weaker. You can gain muscular endurance by improving and controlling your body’s ability to balance. Balance exercises also strengthen your lower body. As with strength training, you can do the following exercises anywhere. Ensure that you have something sturdy to hold on to, as this helps keep your body balanced and steady.

These exercises can be done several times a day:

Leg raises both back and side, walking heel to toe, and alternate standing on one foot.

Pilates and yoga are also great ways to add balancing exercises into your workouts. Additionally, the large exercise balls, wobbling boards and balance boards have become popular in both gyms and homes and are in an inexpensive piece of equipment.

Stretching and Flexibility

Before any activity, you should warm up your body. Slowly jogging in place and walking briskly for a few minutes will warm up those static muscles. Be sure to stretch, but be careful not to overstretch. You should not feel discomfort or pain. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds, breathing out as your stretch. Relax and repeat. You will eventually notice you can stretch a bit farther and hold it longer.

Flexibility also lessens with age, for muscles and tendons lose elasticity as we grow older. The flexibility in the muscles, joints, and tendons can help reduce injuries associated with aging and exercising. There are flexing and stretching exercises from head to toe. The upper body can include head rolls and tilts, shoulder circles, and triceps stretches. The lower body includes glute and adductor stretches, hamstring, quads and calf stretches. Sticking with a stretching and flexing routine, you will be on your way to becoming limber and flexible.

Aerobic

Aerobic exercise allows you to get your heart rate up for an extended period of time, which helps with circulation, weight loss, stamina, and muscle toning. Walking and jogging, swimming, cycling and spinning, aerobics, and dance classes are popular. The number of people 50 and older completing their first marathon or triathlon, has steadily risen over the last 10 years.

Whether you have been active all your life or just joined the health craze, you can benefit from a fitness program. It’s never too late. Prior to starting any exercise program, schedule an appointment with your health care provider. Remember: 50 is nifty!

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