Staying Healthy and Active Over 50: Alternatives to Traditional Exercise

what if you can't exercise

Staying Healthy and Active Over 50: Alternatives to Traditional Exercise

What happens if you can’t exercise? What happens if you can’t work out like you’re used to? Today, I will share my journey of needing to take a break from exercise, my shift from intense workouts to alternative forms of physical activity, and how it doesn’t mean you lose it all.

Embracing Change with Age

Reaching the age of 50 and beyond is an incredible milestone, but it often comes with changes in our bodies that can make exercise more challenging. Whether it’s due to physical limitations, health issues, caregiving responsibilities, or a busy lifestyle, there are times when we find ourselves unable to engage in traditional forms of exercise.

My Personal Journey

Last December, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, which led to a significant shift in my exercise routine. I had to undergo surgery and was not allowed to lift anything over 10 lbs. for six weeks. This was a profound change for someone who loves to exercise.

The Mental Impact

Exercise has become a habit and a form of stress relief for many of us. Not being able to get this “drug” can have a huge impact on your mental state. My own experience taught me valuable lessons about mental well-being during exercise breaks.

The Importance of Seeking Help

During my break from exercise, I sought the guidance of a therapist to address my emotional struggles. We explored the deeper reasons behind my need for control, perfectionism, and the fear of gaining weight. This “forced down time” became an opportunity for self-discovery.

If you are in a place where you have to take a break, I highly recommend getting some help with both the mental and emotional side of it all.

Alternatives and Planning

Even when you can’t exercise as usual, it’s essential to have a plan. I received exercises to do immediately after my surgery and later worked with an occupational therapist to gradually rebuild my strength. Having a structured plan is crucial for maintaining physical well-being.

Managing Weight

Questions about weight gain often arise when you can’t exercise. I learned that while exercise is important, diet plays a significant role in weight management. Understanding the connection between food and exercise is vital. Check out my blog post on You Can’t Exercise Away A Bad Diet

Muscle Loss and Recovery

Concerns about muscle loss are common. I discussed a study that showed minimal muscle loss after a break from lifting weights, emphasizing the importance of returning to strength training as soon as possible.

A New Approach to Fitness

As I’ve grown older, I’ve changed my approach to exercise. Instead of intense, long workouts, I now focus on doing just enough. My exercise routine is more balanced and sustainable, emphasizing overall health and well-being.


While exercise is undeniably beneficial for women over 50, there are various ways to stay active and maintain your health when traditional exercise is not an option. The key is to be adaptable, embrace alternatives, and prioritize your health through good nutrition and self-discovery. Remember, staying active is not solely about rigorous workouts; it’s about taking care of your body and mind in ways that suit your current situation. Embrace these alternatives, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy and active life, even after a setback.

Visit the American Heart Association’s website for more on why physical activity is so important for health and well-being.

Are you over 50? Are you looking for an exercise program that just right for where you’re at in your fitness journey? Why not try one of my workout programs to get you moving and feel better even as the aches and pains of age creep in. Start Your 7 Day FREE Trial Today

I hope you learned something and please reach out if you need help creating a plan for you . Just use this link to find a time that works for both of us (it’s FREE) BOOK NOW

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