…….and anyone else who is seeking a better lifestyle and fitness after 50.
Unfortunately, a lot of Australian boomers I talk to about baby boomer health and fitness seem to have this strange preconceived idea that with ageing comes all sorts of debilitating lifestyle diseases.
It goes with the territory they say.
It’s all downhill from here they say.
Well I say……what a load of rubbish!
This is how I look at it; “Age has no limits or boundaries as to how much or what you can do or achieve. It is only your mind that puts up the roadblocks.” – John Falkinder, Active Ageing Advocate and Coach (my mission is to help you pull down the roadblocks).
I also feel we all have two choices as is perfectly portrayed in this meme from my friends at Growing Bolder. Remember to give my friends there a big “Like”.
And before we go any further let me explain, “What is Growing Bolder?” This site is well worth bookmarking for future reference. It has sooooo much great information for baby boomers like us.
Growing Bolder is an attitude. A mission. A passion; and it is put together especially for baby boomers by a team of people who believe in the power of hope, inspiration and possibility.
Growing Bolder is among the world leaders in wellness and active lifestyle content creation and delivery across all major media platforms. So why not come and join us today. The motivating stories of senior achievements by ordinary people from around the world will astound you and give you the impetus and realization that “it’s never too late to become what you might have been” (thanks for that one George Elliot).
Regardless of your age, we all know we should:
1) exercise regularly,
2) drink lots of water,
3) eat good quality nutritious clean food and
4) get a good 6 to 8 hours sleep each night.
And to make you feel better, a glass of red wine with dinner won’t hurt too much either (you just have to refrain from drinking the whole bottle).
Those are the four smart and simple fitness tips everyone should live by.
If you are over 55 or already nearing retirement, or maybe you are already there, the following five fitness tips provide even more support and encouragement for you to lead an active and healthy lifestyle plus reap the unexpected benefits of a regular exercise program.
Fitness Tip #1: It’s Never Too Late to Get Started
Don’t think for a moment that since you have lived a life of minimum exercise and physical activity, there is no need to start now.
You can start exercising at any age and at any level of fitness and you will see appreciable results in as little time as just two months.
You can start with something as simple as walking 20 to 30 minutes three times a week and then gradually working up to doing a mix of resistance exercises and cardiovascular training preferably 5 to 6 days a week. Find a friend to go with you – that will help keep you both motivated to keep going.
Amazingly, you will find just 15 minutes after you begin exercising, your body and mind benefit by the increased rate of fresh oxygen being pumped throughout your body. So make exercise a regular part of your daily and weekly activities and your health will improve more quickly than you could have ever imagined.
Boomer fitness is big news these days so if you don’t know where to start then get yourself some good walking shoes, comfortable and not too over-cushioned, and some appropriate clothes, not something that is flapping all over the place, and just walk out the front door and keep going.
For the first 3 to 4 weeks do the first 5 to 8 minutes at a slow even pace until your body gets warmed up. Then walk a little faster. The ideal pace then is where you can just hold a conversation without gasping for air. Do this for the next 15 to 20 minutes then warm down; i.e. slow walk like when you started for 5 minutes.
I like to find at least three different walking routes as it alleviates the boredom and each route should have different terrain so as each walk is a different challenge.
I will expand on this in the future so your fitness can reach far loftier heights.
Fitness Tip #2: Don’t Compare Yourself with Others
There are always going to be other people in better, and worse, shape than you. Comparing your level of fitness to someone else is absolutely pointless. There will always be someone in better nick that you.
Important Note: You are an incredibly unique individual. What someone else can or cannot do has nothing to do with you. So just continue to make strides with your physical fitness, keeping moving and active on a daily basis, and your efforts will pay off. You just have to keep at it and the results will follow.
If you don’t know what to do then join a gym and engage a personal trainer who understands active ageing and get them to write a fitness for seniors program for you and show you how to do the exercises with correct form. It is really important you learn the correct way to do each exercise as this will negate any chances of injury.
One thing I do suggest though is make sure you get the ok from your doctor before beginning any type of exercise programs. If you are suffering from any types of lifestyle diseases moderate exercise on a regular basis is the one way you can reverse the problem.
Fitness Tip #3: Don’t Underestimate Yourself
Think about this: Limitations only exist if you let them and the mind will always give up before the body.
The last 20 or 30 years of research continues to show what we all thought about the inevitability of aging is not entirely true.
The things you can accomplish, physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally, are not limited by your age……it is usually all in your mind.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, start slow, but don’t underestimate what frequent physical activity, lots of rest, smart nutrition choices and good hydration can accomplish in your life.
Establish some fitness goals for yourself and just go for it; as long as the goals are specific, pleasurable and attainable you will be well on the road to achieving an enviable state of health and fitness.
Also read this excellent article from the Australian Fitness Network; Making Fitness Meaningful for Baby Boomers.
Fitness Tip #4: Here’s one for Baby Boomers Who Used to be Athletes – I’m Not That Young Anymore!
From what I’ve just written above, you have just learned that you are able to do more physically than you ever thought possible as a senior citizen.
This type of mind-set can lead to incredible health and lifestyle rewards.
On the other side of that coin are those boomers who overestimate their physical ability as seniors. If you used to be an athlete, or you were just very physically active as a youngster, don’t overestimate your strength and endurance if you haven’t done any form of training in the last few years or more. I have seen it lead to some pretty nasty injuries.
You can have a wonderfully healthy life as a retiree, but not if you injure yourself by overestimating your physical abilities.
This is one reason why I tend to do more bodyweight training these days even though I do still use free weights. I get a lot less injuries but still maintain excellent strength.
Fitness Tip #5: Do You Want to be Fit after 50……or even after 60?
For fitness after 50 you need to get strength training, balance exercises and cardio into your daily life.
Balance exercises may include Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. Purpose designed stretching programs by a qualified personal trainer also fall into this category.
It is well reported that for every year past age 60, your chances of having a fall increase dramatically. But you can easily reverse the statistics by engaging in a moderate and regular exercise program.
That’s why balance exercises are so important for people as they age.
But, as mentioned above, so is regular and moderately intense aerobic activity.
Add strength training, like body weight training or lifting weights, and you have the perfect trifecta of senior exercising for a fit and healthy body – strength fitness training, balance exercises and aerobics.
This is your recipe for a better and more enjoyable life in your retirement years.
In closing, I would like to offer the following thoughts on fitness for Baby Boomers.
Being a “senior” personal trainer and having a good understanding of what it feels like to be fit and jumping out of your skin in your boomer years I feel I have a duty to encourage and motivate other boomers who, for whatever reason, are maybe less fortunate health wise than myself.
Nilofer Merchant admirably sums up my thoughts on fitness for seniors; “My goal is to be someone who socializes the idea that physical activity matters, and that we each matter enough to take care of our health.”
And then there is this one from Chungliang Al Huang……I think it’s a cracker; “Many people treat their bodies as if they were rented from Hertz……something they are using to get around in but nothing they genuinely care about understanding.”
I can guarantee you from my own personal experience fitness after 50 works big time.
It will change your body and your mind will change the way it thinks about your body. Win/win.
So I urge you to give it a try……let me know what you think and I look forward to catching up with you one day……..either in the gym or on the beach.
Do a friend a favour…….please like and share.
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Coach and Activist.
Irene Williams says
Great John, I couldn’t agree more. I can’t believe the difference in myself since being back at the gym. Some over 60’s personal training would be nice!!
John Falkinder says
Thanks Irene. Glad to hear you are back in the fold. Good over 60’s trainers are hard to find aren’t they? 🙂
Graham Forbes says
Great work and excellent tips. We boomers need to take control of our health and fitness to ensure that we can stay in control of the longer life we have ahead of us. Keep up the encouragement and advice, it helps us all.
John Falkinder says
Thanks for your encouraging comments Graham. I appreciate it. Cheers – John.